The ultimate makeover: New York cheesecake

The ultimate makeover: New York cheesecake

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(52 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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    17th Apr, 2011
    Absolutely amazing! I made it dairy and wheat free too by using soya milk/spread and free from biscuits!
    3rd Feb, 2011
    Two days ago I made is for second time and this time I got it perfect and one of the most delecious I've ever tried.
    14th Nov, 2010
    Fantastic!!made this for a family party last night and it really impressed!
    12th Nov, 2010
    I have baked this many times, using Low Fat Fromage Frais and it has always turned out wonderfully. Love this recipe.
    16th Sep, 2010
    I love this cheesecake and so do all my friends - I never bother to make the cloying full-fat versions these days. We can't get fromage frais in Turkey, so I use labne instead, which is a bit like Quark, and it works perfectly every time. Apart from making the biscuit base slightly thicker (I use double the quantities given), the only change I have made is to omit the vanilla, because I think it detracts from the lovely lemon flavour. Also, I prefer my lemon desserts quite tangy, so I add the juice of a whole lemon instead of just the teaspoon that Angela suggests. I also sometimes add some ground ginger to the biscuit base, which goes well with the lemon. It's my other half's birthday tomorrow, and he has demanded this cheesecake for his birthday cake, so there's one baking in the oven right now - can't wait!
    27th Aug, 2010
    Oh no! It's been in the overn 15 mins and I've forgotten to put in the fromage frais.....will it work??
    31st Jul, 2010
    Brilliant! I made it with a mix of raspberries, strawberries and blueberries, excellent :) I'm always surprised when I make a recipe and it all goes like it should be.. I'm Dutch and love cheesecake, we don't have that over here, and this one is so perfect I'm definitely making it again. Tyvm!
    6th Jul, 2010
    I made this and just sliced strawberries to put on top - it has been very popular!
    12th May, 2010
    This is what heaven must smell like! Unbelievably gorgeous and yet amazingly low fat - my husband, a cheescake fan, never even noticed! I substituted the vanilla and lemon juice in favour of a splash of Baileys (but still used the zest) and the result was almost dreamlike. I also used more biscuits for the base, and I am glad I did, as it would have been a little thin to cut. Mmmmmm ENJOY!!!
    8th May, 2010


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