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 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 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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    5th May, 2009
    Absolutely wonderful. This recipe has doubled the desserts I am requested to cook! I now make a third of the recipe (one egg's worth), put it in ramikins (the size I have fills five) and cook it for 5 minutes in the microwave (full power for a couple of minutes and some more on 3/4 power - needs a little experimentation and depends on the microwave). Put on the fromage frais and in for 20 seconds. Quick and easy
    4th May, 2009
    Mine is still in the oven baking, but so far so good. I did add more biscuits into the base, didn't think that 85g was enough. In Nigella's (Lawson) recipe for cheesecake she uses 200grms...I think that this is more appropriate. Let's hope it turns out well, fingers crossed...
    19th Apr, 2009
    Looked rich but surprisingly light! Will add this to my folder to make again.
    17th Apr, 2009
    Made this last night and served after lunch today. My husband gave it 10/10 and cheescake is his favourite dessert! Substituted half fat creme fraiche for the fromage frais and it worked perfectly. Will definitely make this again.
    13th Apr, 2009
    Just read about reviews about this being the best cheesecake ever - have to disagree - sorry. Made this for Easter Sunday & was less than impressed. Family liked it though. Is the base on baked cheesecakes supposed to be soft?? Quick & easy to make but the drying out time in the oven was difficult to accomodate the day before - we were out for the day. Maybe baked cheesecakes just aren't to my taste.
    26th Mar, 2009
    Really yummy, got lots of compliments,everybody was quite shocked when I told them it was a lower fat version. I made a raspberry coulis and put this and fresh raspberries on top, without the fromage frais, which I never have a problem getting from any of the large supermarkets. Delicious
    19th Feb, 2009
    I too forgot to put in the fromage frais!! Also I had to remove this from the oven halfway through the 2hr cool down period as I forgot I needed to use it to make dinner lol, but it still tasted fantastic and I was once again praised by family & friends for my culinary skills V. smug :)
    27th Jan, 2009
    This was fabulous
    7th Jan, 2009
    Dear Daisy...Tried look up fromage frais on the internet.....could only find greek strained yogurt... it is thick yogurt without the will work. hope someone else can help too...
    29th Dec, 2008
    Loved this! I made it for Christmas Day with my own recipe for spiced winter fruits. I will definitely be making it again.


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