If you feel like objecting that to the mistake in the title, that cheesecake is in no way an American original, you’d be correct! The sweet roots of this impeccable “cake” reaches deep into European history. There are even claims that the strapping athletes of ancient Greece feasted on this delicacy over 770 years B.C.E. So it didn’t become American until much later, when Europeans transported it to the other side of the pond. It is true, however, that they quickly made it their own and gradually perfected it. We also made it our own at our house, and everyone uncompromisingly insists on including it in the weekend spread at least once a month. So today, according to the New York recipe: a “slice of the perfect cheesecake”, done in a few minutes, chilled in a few hours, and devoured in a few seconds.
- Preheat the oven to 190°C and dive in to making the crust.
- Throw the biscuits into a food processor and process, or put them in a bag and use a meat tenderising mallet to break them up into tiny pieces. But the food processor is faster, more convenient, and less work. I’ve managed to rip through the bag on occasion.
- Add sugar and cinnamon to the biscuits, and pour in the butter.
- Line the baking mould with parchment paper. Both the bottom and the sides all around. To keep the sides from falling before I add the crust, I attach the parchment paper along the circumference with clothes pins.
- Then press the crust mixture firmly into the bottom of the mould, remove the clothes pins, and bake in the oven for 10–15 minutes.
- In the meantime, get started on the cream: in a bowl, first mix the cream cheese with the mascarpone and both sugars. Mix using a hand mixer until well combined, making a smooth cream. This takes about 4 minutes.
- Then add the eggs and yolks one at a time, adding the lemon juice, lemon zest and the cream at the very end.
- Take the crust out of the oven, reduce the temperature to 180°C and pour the mixture you just made over the crust.
- Pop the cheesecake into the oven and bake for approx. 35 minutes.
- When you take it out, the sides should be firm but the centre should still be a bit wobbly.
- Place the mould on a cooling rack or on the counter top, cover, and let cool completely.
- You can serve the cheesecake as soon as it’s cooled, but I recommend you put it in the refrigerator overnight. In the morning it’ll take your whole family’s breath away!
So good luck and bon apetit!