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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    19th Dec, 2009
    Lovely, great that its light and healthy.
    1st Nov, 2009
    Made this yesterday, and ate it last night, so obviously ignored most of the leave it to cool slowly bits! I did stick with the first cooling though, but only left it an hour before opening the oven door at all. I used creme fraiche instead of fromage frais and didn't put any on top. Also added half of vanilla pod seeds. Blueberry sauce was magnificent. Tasted as good as cheesecake eaten in New York. Recommended.
    26th Oct, 2009
    this was sooooo yummy! made this for my family and it was a big hit. the recipe was a bit fiddly and long but well worth it. the cheesecake needed 35 minutes to cook though! i will definitely make this my staple cheesecake recipe.
    10th Oct, 2009
    Absolutely in love with this cake! It is so easy to make and though it was my first attempt to bake a cheesecake it worked out perfectly. Even a friend of mine who cannot stand cheesecakes tasted a slice and wanted more of it. Thank you very much for this ingenious recipe!
    22nd Sep, 2009
    This is simply the best cheesecake recipe ever! Fantastic with raspberries and raspberry coulis
    mother_ship's picture
    18th Aug, 2009
    Great recipe, very light for a baked cheesecake and next time I will add a lot more lemon...BUT...mine has a very slight powdery hint which I would imagine is a result of the cornflour. Did anyone else have this problem? Is this what the initial burst of high temperature is supposed to resolve?
    14th Jul, 2009
    You wouldn't know it's a low fat cheese cake if it wasn't for that fact that it doesn't make you feel sick after eating it! I used extra low fat soft cheese instead for medium fat, but it turn out very well if slightly wetter than the other one (full fat philly mixed in). Had to cook it slightly longer than suggested but all ovens vary so you have to trial and error a bit. Very pleased with end result.
    2nd Jul, 2009
    I too substituted half fat creme fraiche for the fromage frais and it worked perfectly.This was my first baked cheesecake too and I have been really pleased with the results. Have made it several times and it is requested again & again!
    6th Jun, 2009
    Am practising some courses for a dinner party, so thought I'd try this for our dessert. It took absolutely ages, with all the leaving to cool and then leaving overnight, but I have to say it was worth it. The blueberries with the lime zest were particularly wonderful, so I think I've found the dessert I've been looking for!
    18th May, 2009
    Great cheesecake, very moorish. Used half fat creme fraiche instead of fromage frais, which I could not find. Only complaint is that the cheesecake was no way near set after 35 minutes in the oven. I followed the instructions carefully and left it overnight in the fridge thinking that it would set and woke up to a sloppy, liquidy mess! Put it back in the oven until it was actually ready and overall took 1 1/2 hours, which is the time most other baked cheesecakes take... Still, a lovely recipe, especially with strawberries!


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