The ultimate makeover: New York cheesecake

The ultimate makeover: New York cheesecake

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(53 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 a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…

    • 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 eggs, 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, questions and tips

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    16th May, 2012
    Excellent cheesecake, an absolute favourite, I substitute riccotta for fromage frais
    16th Apr, 2012
    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.
    14th Feb, 2012
    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.
    12th Jan, 2012 healthy good food making machine
    27th Jul, 2011
    I made this for my husband's 80th birthday celebration. Everyone raved about it and I really enjoyed making it. I froze it for about a week and then took it out of the freezer the day before the party and kept it in the fridge until about 4 hours before it was needed. I will certainly make it again.
    nargis82's picture
    26th Jul, 2011
    Thanks! nice recipe! But it turned out that 25 minutes wasn't enough - it was still too liquid, so I had to double time
    18th Jul, 2011
    Brilliant recipe, and so light! I used quark instead of fromage frais (as a comment above had said, they're very similar). I did have to leave it in the oven, after turning the temperature down, for a lot longer than 25 minutes as the filling was still quite runny. It was delicious nonetheless. Unfortunately the base was too, too thin. Would very much recommend, just make a thicker base.
    18th Jul, 2011
    It was FABULOUS! I did as others suggested and doubled the amount of biscuits as I wanted a thicker base. It took a lot longer to cook (about an hour and a half, after the temperature was turned down) and I left it in the oven for at least 4 hours. Once it was cool, I removed the sides of the tin, covered it and froze it - Once it was frozen I removed the base (this made it easier as I didn't want to use baking parchment in the tin) For any weightwatchers out there... per slice it is 10 propoints.
    5th Jul, 2011
    I was quite interested in this till I read the healthier and lighter bit.
    19th May, 2011
    Why on earth should a Microplane grater be preferable for this recipe? Does it make the lemon more lemony than my £5 grater from Tesco?


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