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Marietjie’s incredible New York style baked cheesecake

“Shall I bake a cheesecake?” Marietjie asked, and proceeded to spread her recipe books on the table. She could not quite find what she wanted and started to devise a new recipe on the spot. Jaco had his doubts, but can now report that he worried too much. His wife’s new recipe turned out to be just right in his view – and he’s been looking for the perfect New York style cheesecake for a very long time.

Ingredients:

Crust:

  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) flour
  • 3 tablespoons (45 ml) white sugar
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten (or 1 small egg)
  • 60 gram butter, softened
  • 1 teaspoon (5 ml) lemon zest, finely grated
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) vanilla essence

Filling:

  • 450 to 500 gram traditional cream cheese, softened (three 150 gram containers or two 250 gram containers)
  • 3/4 cup (180 ml) castor or white sugar
  • 2/3 cup (150 ml) sour cream
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon (3 ml) vanilla essence
  • Juice from one lemon
  • 3 eggs

Method:

  1. The cheese, sour cream, eggs and butter must be at room temperature.
  2. Preheat oven to 200°C.
  3. Lightly coat a 20 cm springform pan with cooking spray (use Spray and Cook for the best results). Wrap heavy aluminium foil around the sides and bottom of your springform pan, or cheesecake pan with removable bottom. This prevents your cheesecake from leaking while you’re baking it. If you do not have a springform pan, carefully line a 20 cm cake pan with aluminium foil or baking paper and allow the foil to hang over the edges to make it easy to lift the cheesecake out after baking.
  4. Combine the ingredients for the crust and spread to the edges of the pan. Prick the crust all over with a fork and bake 15 minutes at 200°C. Allow to cool.
  5. Increase the oven’s temperature to 220°C.
  6. Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl until it is smooth and light.
  7. Add sour cream, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest and mix gently. Add the eggs one by one and mix well but do not over-mix.
  8. Pour the filling over the crust and bake in a bain-marie for 10 minutes at 220°C.
  9. Reduce the heat to 160°C and bake for another 40 minutes. Turn the oven off, but leave the cake in the oven for another hour.
  10. Remove the cheesecake very carefully from the pan.
  11. Chill the cheesecake overnight in the fridge before serving.