Happy Fourth of July! Yes, it’s American Independence Day and so in honour of our cousins over the pond, here is my recipe for a baked American-style cheesecake.
I adore baked cheesecakes – the way the top is all cakey, soft and crumbly while the inside is sumptuously creamy and quite decadent. Matched with the crunchy biscuit base and sweet fruit on the side, what more could you ask for in a pud?
American-style baked cheesecake
For the biscuit base
75g digestive biscuits, crushed
40g butter, melted
35g Demerara sugar
For the cheesecake
45g butter, softened
150g caster sugar
400g cream cheese
20g corn flour
Pinch of salt
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 eggs, separated
130ml double cream, lightly whipped
Fresh berries to serve
Preheat oven to 160°C/gas mark 3.
Lightly grease a 20cm loose-bottomed cake tin and line with greaseproof paper.
Put the crushed biscuits, butter and Demerara sugar into a bowl and mix well. Spread over the base of the tin and press down well. Place in the fridge for half an hour to set.
Into a large bowl measure the butter, caster sugar, cream cheese, corn flour, salt, lemon zest, vanilla extract and egg yolks and beat with a wooden spoon until smooth. Then fold in the lightly whipped cream.
Whisk the egg whites until stiff and then carefully fold into the cheesy mixture using a large metal spoon.
Pour the cheese mixture onto the chilled biscuit base.
Bake in the oven for about an hour until set. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in there for another hour to cool.
If like me you have an Aga, then bake in the roasting oven on the shelf on the floor with the cold plain shelf on the second set of runners. Bake for 20 minutes until the top is pale golden. Transfer the cold plain shelf to the middle of the simmering oven and place the cheesecake on this. Bake for another 20-30 minutes. Thanks to Mary Berry for the Aga baking advice!
Remove the cheesecake from the oven and cool in the tin. Carefully run a knife around the edge, lift out from the tin and remove the greaseproof paper.
Serve with your favourite berries – I went for strawberries – I am eating it in Britain after all!