Since I can remember, my mother has made New York style baked cheesecake. She learned how to do this when my parents lived in New York in the 1960s from a recipe in Life Magazine. I think of baked cheesecake as part of my cultural heritage, because I was born in Manhatten.
Baked cheesecake is nothing like the anaemic, no-bake confection that masquerades as cheesecake in Britain. It is rich, creamy, delicious and dangerously addictive.
NY-style cheesecake is more widely available here in America than in Britain. I try it in coffee shops and restaurants, but inevitably it is never as good as my mother makes.
So I asked my mother to email me her recipe so that I could try to make it myself. I gather that cheesecake has a temperamental chemistry – even quite small changes in the ingredients can change the whole character of the end result. I thought myself very daring in cutting the amount of sugar in half, and using buckwheat flour instead of normal flour (because that was all I had).
What was the result? See for yourself: the photo is of my elevenses this morning. Of course, it was nothing like as good as my mother makes, but not bad for a first attempt.
My mother’s full recipe is below the fold.
CHEESECAKE (A LIFE MAGAZINE RECIPE FROM THE 1960s)
Cups and pints are US standard
- 1lb. cream cheese.
- 1lb. creamed cottage cheese.
- 1.5 cups sugar.
- 4 eggs, slightly beaten.
- 3 tablespoons cornflour (US cornstarch)
- 3 tablespoons flour.
- 1.5 tablespoons lemon juice.
- 1 teaspoon vanilla.
- Half a cup or quarter of a pound, butter.
- 1 pint sour cream.
Beat cheeses together. gradually add sugar and then eggs. At low speed add cornflour, flour, lemon juice and vanilla. Stir in melted butter and sour cream.
Pour into greased 9 or 10 inch spring -form pan.
Bake at 325F or 170C or gas mark 3 for 1 hour 10 minutes or until firm around the edges. Turn off oven and leave cheesecake in for 2 hours. Cool for 2 hours and then refrigerate.
It will cook more quickly in a 10 inch pan.
It will continue to cook in the 2 hours after you turn the oven off. It will be quite pale when you turn off the heat and will brown somewhat in that 2 hours.
I find that with a modern fan type oven and in a 10 inch pan it cooks in 45 minutes. I am never quite convinced that it is safe to turn it off so soon but it always is!