Gretta Anna’s cheesecake

If Gretta Anna can be believed, this recipe started the whole cheesecake rage in every coffee shop and bistro in Australia. Whether that is true or not, it is very reliable and still produces moans of appreciation.

225g plus 5 extra plain sweet biscuits (Arnotts Sweet Arrowroot)
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

600g Philadelphia Cream Cheese (not the light variety)
1 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
Whipped cream to garnish
Nutmeg, freshly grated to garnish

Lightly grease a 25cm spring-form pan. Crunch the biscuits well by putting them between two sheets of cling foil or baking paper and rolling them with a rolling pin. They should be well crumbled, but not powder. The consistency of cornflake crumbs is perfect. If preparing crumbs in a food process be careful not to over-process.

Mix the biscuit crumbs with the melted butter and line the base and sides of the spring-form pan with the mixture, making sure that you do not get too much of a build-up of biscuit crumbs where the base meets the sides. Refrigerate until needed.

Cream together the Philadelphia cream cheese and the sugar, but don’t over-beat. Add the eggs, one at a time, very gently, so as to let as little air into the mixture as possible. Add the vanilla essence and the lemon juice and mix well.

Pour the mixture into the prepared crumb-lined tin.

Preheat the oven to 160C and bake the cheesecake for approximately 65 minutes. (1 hour and 5 minutes, in case you think I have made a mistake.) Watch it carefully in the latter stages to ensure that the mixture does not rise too much. If it does, turn down the heat.

Remove the cake from the oven and do not be surprised if it still has a slight wobble. Cool to room temperature and refrigerate overnight, still in the springform pan. To serve, balance the cake on the fingers of your left hand, unclip the pan with your right hand and let the collar of the pan slip down over your left arm. It helps if someone is there to take the cake from you at this stage.

Sprinkle with grated nutmeg and serve with whipped cream.

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