Classic New York/Israeli Cheesecake

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The pastry chef at the Waldorf Astoria in Jerusalem, Doron Groner, shares his classic Israeli cheesecake recipe.  

This recipe includes baking up fresh cookies that will be crumbled to make the crust, you can skip this step and use tea biscuits or graham crackers, about 1-2 cups crumbs instead.

For the filling, the ideal cheese is a fromage blanc with 8% fat, but a low fat cream cheese will work well too. 

  • Duration
  • Cook Time
  • Prep Time
  • 2 (11 inch) cakesServings

Ingredients

Crust

  • 200 grams (7 ounces) butter, melted plus 60 grams (5 tablespoons) butter, melted

  • 300 grams (10½ ounces) all-purpose flour

  • 2 eggs

  • Pinch of lemon zest

  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Filling

  • 1.3 kg (2¾ pounds) gevina levana or low fat cream cheese

  • 900 grams (2 pounds) sour cream

  • 450 grams (1 pound) 3½ cups powdered sugar

  • 8 eggs

  • 800 grams (1¾ pounds) potato starch

Topping

  • 500 grams sour cream

  • 500 grams powdered sugar

Preparation

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Crust

1. In a bowl, combine 200 grams melted butter, flour, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla extract.  Mix until a dough is formed.  Spread the dough on a cookie sheet and bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes. 

2. Remove from oven and let cool, this step can be made a few days head.  When cool, grind the cookies in a food processor until crumbly.  

3. Add the remaining 4 tablespoons melted butter and mix until a uniform mixture is created.  Press into 2 (11-inch) springform pans and set aside.  

Filling

1. In a large bowl whisk the cheese and sour cream together until smooth.  

2. Add powdered sugar and mix until fully incorporated. 

3. Add eggs and potato starch.  Mix well.  Pour into prepared 11-inch springform pans.   

4. Bake for 10 minutes at 340℉/170℃ and then reduce heat to 280℉/140℃ for 40 minutes.

Topping

1. In a bowl with whisk blend the sour cream and powdered sugar until smooth.  

2. Spread on to the cakes and bake for 7 minutes more at a 300℉/150℃.

Cool and store in fridge until ready to serve.