Ashkenazi Jewish cheesecake

  • Posted on: 25 September 2009
  • By: David Thrale

My auntie Ida used to make her renowned Cheesecake at family occasions. I am pleased to say that in her old age she gave me the secret recipe and even helped me over the phone when I wasn't quite sure how to follow the recipe. She has since passed away and is greatly missed. Here is the recipe in memory of her.

Pastry base

Ingredient Metric Imperial
Plain flour 200g 8 oz
Sugar 75g 3 oz
Unsalted butter 100g 4 oz
Egg One One
Salt Pinch Pinch

For the pastry base, mix the flour, salt, and sugar in a bowl. Cut the butter into pieces and rub the butter in with your hands. Lightly beat the egg and then work-in very briefly until bound into a soft dough, adding a little flour if it is too sticky. Wrap in plastic wrap and leave for half an hour. Line a greased 10½ inch (26-cm) spring-form pan or flan mold with the pastry by pressing it all over the bottom and a little up the sides with your hand (it is difficult to roll out). Bake it blind in a preheated 350° F (180°C) oven for 30 minutes. Let it cool before you cover it with the filling, or it will break up.


Ingredient Metric Imperial
Curd cheese (or mascarpone) 500g 1 lb
Sour cream or fromage frais 150 ml 6 oz
Egg whites Five Five
Caster or superfine sugar 175 g 4 oz
Lemon zest & juice Half a lemon Half a lemon
Vanilla extract Few drops Few drops

For the filling, mix the curd cheese with the rest of the filling ingredients except the egg whites and beat until smooth. Beat the egg whites to stiff snowy peaks and fold into the cheese mixture. Pour into the pan or flan mold over the pastry shell. Bake in a preheated 300°F (150°C) oven for 1½ hours. Let it cool slowly in the oven with the door open.


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