The ultimate makeover: New York cheesecake

The ultimate makeover: New York cheesecake

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(45 ratings)

Prep: 25 mins Cook: 45 mins Plus 3½ hrs cooling and overnight chilling


Cuts into 10 slices
Angela Nilsen rises to the ultimate challenge - keeping a cheesecake creamy and decadent while making it healthier and lighter

Nutrition and extra info

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal315
  • fat15g
  • saturates8g
  • carbs37g
  • sugars28g
  • fibre1g
  • protein9g
  • salt0.89g
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    For the base

    • 35g butter



      Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

    • 85g reduced-fat digestive biscuit, finely crushed

    For the filling

    • 2 x 300g/11oz tubs light soft cheese, we used Philadelphia cheese, at room temperature
    • 175g golden caster sugar
    • 3 tbsp cornflour
    • 1½ tsp finely grated lemon zest, preferably using a Microplane grater
    • 1 tsp lemon juice
    • 1 tsp vanilla extract
    • 3 egg, room temperature, beaten



      The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

    • 150g fromage frais

    For the topping

    • 25g golden caster sugar
    • 225g punnet blueberry



      Blueberries are one of the few edibles native to North America and credited with being…

    • ½ tsp finely grated lime zest



      The same shape, but smaller than…

    • 100g fromage frais


    1. Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. Line a 20cm loose-bottomed or springform tin with baking parchment and stand it on a baking sheet. Melt the butter and stir in the biscuit crumbs. Press the mix into the base of the tin, then bake for 10 mins. Remove from the oven and raise the temperature to 240C/fan 220C/gas 9.

    2. For the filling, beat the soft cheese just until smooth with an electric hand mixer on low speed. Gradually add the sugar, also on a low speed, then the cornflour without overbeating. Scrape the sides of the bowl. Slowly whisk in the lemon zest and juice, the vanilla, then the eggs. Scrape the sides of the bowl, then finally whiskin the fromage frais. The mixture should be smooth and quite runny.

    3. Pour the filling over the crumb base. Jiggle the tin to level the mix and squash surface bubbles with the back of a teaspoon. Bake for 10 mins, then lower the heat to 110C/fan 90C/gas ¼. Bake another 25 mins and, if you are using an electric oven, leave the oven door slightly ajar for the first 3 mins. After the 25 mins, shake the tin and there should be a wobble in the centre of the filling. If left until firmer it is more likely to crack later. Turn off the oven, keep the door closed and leave the cake in for 2 hrs. Open the door, loosen the top edges of the cake with a round bladed knife, then leave in the oven to cool gently for another 1-1½ hrs.

    4. Meanwhile, put the sugar for the topping in a small pan with 3 tbsp water. Bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar, then let it bubble for 1-2 mins to make a thin syrup. Tip in the blueberries, gently stir and cook for about 1 min, just to slightly burst the fruit and release the purple juices. Stir in the lime zest, then leave to cool.

    5. Spread the fromage frais over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Cover with foil and chill for at least 4 hrs (or overnight). Remove from the fridge 1 hr before serving, loosen the sides of the cheesecake completely, remove from the tin, then slide onto a plate, peeling off the paper as you do. Slice with a sharp knife and serve each wedge topped with a spoonful of syrupy blueberries.

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    Comments (77)

    mtp1905's picture

    I made this yesterday with a few changes. Firstly, after reading the comments below I did 1.5 times the quantity for the base. I forgot to add the fromage frais to the cheese mix, I don't think it affected the taste or texture which were really good. If I had remembered to add it the tin would have been too small to hold all the mix, even allowing for the extra base I used. I used lemon extract instead of vanilla. the berry topping was lovely and I am sure the basic recipe would lend itself to a lot of adaptation.

    minicoopergirl's picture

    Made this for pudding for xmas day. OMG it was fab. Made ahead the biscuit base which i doubled and gave myself enough time to finish off in the oven the required time didnt even check oven to see if it wobbled just left it in till completely cold, never added the topping before to my cheesecakes but did this time. Was sceptical as it was low fat but the texture and taste was perfect and it came out with NO cracks. Definately a winner...thanks GF

    katesohm's picture

    Really really tasty - this will be a favourite of mine - quiet costly but most definitely worth it. I think a smaller portion is required as it is very rich and with the blueberries and lime it is scrummy!!!

    michelle43's picture

    I should have added that I doubled the base as there is not enough biscuits with 85g

    michelle43's picture

    Absolutely delicious. It was fine for 25 minutes. For the topping I just had the blueberries and a squeeze of lemon in the pan. Everyone loved it

    SusieQ100's picture

    This cheescake is fabulous! Light, not cloying as some are, although you should not eat too large a portion, even if it is lower in fat! Only problem was with the baking time - 25 minutes is nowhere near enough! I baked mine (in a fan oven) for about 90 minutes, then left it overnight in the oven to cool. Served with raspberries (frozen) instead of blueberries.

    Will be making this one again!

    tracymck's picture

    Have made this several times now, always delicious and admired. Really rich but fresh flavour. I do double base ingredients as I found the base a little thin first time and it doesn't lose anything if you leave the fromage frais off the top. So much better than most of the cloying cheesecakes that you get in supermarkets and really easy to make.

    suegriff26's picture

    Cheesecake is delish, left it in for about 50 minutes after turning temperature down, although a bit longer still wouldn't have hurt. Nit sure about the topping, think the lime was a bit out of place and may have been better if left out. Will definitely make again

    lazynini's picture

    My daughter made it several times & it's delicious every time !she adds some lemon juice to the topping, I love it! Nahla.

    lazynini's picture

    My daughter made it several times & it's delicious every time !

    ruthy10's picture

    I was looking for a low fat dessert for valentines day and this cheese cake recipe is great. I read all the reviews for this recipe and living abroad like some others, certain ingredients are hard to come by.
    I doubled the quantity for the base as I thought it would be too thin and gave it an extra 5-6 minutes in the oven at the start. I replaced the fromage frais for half fat creme Fraiche and this worked just as well. I baked it for the times stated and left it to cool for the 2hrs and then just another hour after that and found that the top of the cheese cake had cracked. However cracks can be covered, it tasted absolutely gorgeous and my husband loved it.

    mawaheb's picture

    This is an absolute favorite.. I made it the first time for my husband's birthday and then started getting orders from friends and family! I would recommend it to everyone.. it is totally worth it..

    cafeaulait9's picture

    I just made this and it has to be the best cheesecake I've ever made! I tweaked the recipe a little bit: I used self-raising flour instead of the corn flour and I used blackberries and raspberries instead of blueberries but it tastes amazing! Really creamy. If you're looking for a good cheesecake recipe, look no further, this is the one!

    krista54's picture

    This is wonderful cheesecake, I substituted the sugar for zylitol and used 130 grms so its perfect for diabetics.

    jrd1987's picture

    Delicious, and a great texture with bit more to chew than the other no-cook cheesecakes I've made before. I used quite a shallow tin so had a bit of filling left over, so used it to make a couple of mini cheesecakes in ramekins... worked really well! I was too lazy to bother with the fruit, just sprinkled a bit of sweetener atop the creme fraiche topping - yum!

    alicehill45's picture

    I've never baked a cheesecake before and this was really easy and it tasted amazing! I made it for my dad's birthday, New York cheesecake is his favorite and he absolutely loved it, never would have guessed it was a healthier version! I did end up with a slight crack but this was easily covered up with the toppings so it wasn't a problem at all!

    masont's picture

    Excellent cheesecake, an absolute favourite, I substitute riccotta for fromage frais

    jodriscoll's picture

    I subsituted the low fat cream cheese for quark, the fromage frais for 0% fat greek yoghurt and the butter for rapeseed oil. Topped with mixed berries it went down a storm with the whole family! Will definitely make again.

    lornadennis's picture

    Cooked this at the weekend for visitors. Everyone loved it and wanted the recipe. The blueberries went down very well, can't comment myself as my son scoffed the last slice!

    It was really easy to prepare and I will definitely be making this again.

    I did cook it for longer as was still very wobbly after the recommended cooking time.


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