Monday, October 2, 2023 -
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Matt Preston’s classic cheesecake

It’s just not Shavuot without a slice of cheesecake. We’ve tried in previous years to do down different dessert routes, and while we produced luscious, dairy treats (chess pie, key lime pie, ice cream sandwiches), we found ourselves making sure to go to the Kiddush at shul for a slice of the classic stuff.

Classic Cheesecake topped with kiwi, orange and strawberry

There’s really not much to cheesecake: cream cheese, eggs, sugar, vanilla and lemon. That’s pretty much the core of any cheesecake recipe and to our mind, it’s still the best. This year we’re trying a recipe Matt Preston. He’s not well known in the US, but is super famous in Australia, where he was a longtime judge on the TV competition program, “MasterChef Australia.” Known for his loud sense of style and colorful cravats to match, the English-born Preston was a restaurant critic before becoming a TV host. Not being a professional chef, his recipes, when featured in one of the show’s “Masterclass” episodes, are always ones that any home cook can follow without much trouble. This classic cheesecake recipe also matches that description. It comes via Miriam Szokovski via JNS.

Happy baking and Chag Sameach!

Classic Cheesecake


Crust Ingredients:

  • 4 oz. tea biscuits, crushed
  • cup sugar
  • 8 TB butter, melted
  • Pinch of salt

Cheesecake Ingredients:

  • 24 oz. cream cheese
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 eggs
  • TB lemon juice
  • 1 tsp. vanilla extract
  • ¼ tsp. salt
  • cup heavy cream


Crust Directions:

  1. Crush the tea biscuits to a fine crumb, and mix with the sugar, salt and melted butter

  2. Press the mixture down firmly into the base of a 9" springform pan. Use the back of a spoon to help compress the mixture.

  3. Bake at 350ºF for 10 minutes then set aside to cool.

Cheesecake Directions:

  1. Let the cream cheese come to room temperature.
  2. Using an electric mixer (stand or handheld), beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar and mix until fully incorporated.
  3. Add the eggs one at a time. Wait until each one is fully incorporated before adding the next.
  4. Pour in the lemon juice, vanilla and salt; mix. Slowly pour in the heavy cream and mix until smooth.
  5. Pour the cheese mixture over the base.
  6. Place the springform pan into the larger pan and add 1 inch of water to the larger pan.
  7. Bake at 350ºF for approximately 60 to 75 minutes. In order not to overcook the cake, turn off the oven when the center is still jiggly, but not completely wet. Leave the cheesecake to cool in the oven for an hour. Then remove and let it cool completely.
  8. Refrigerate cake until cold. Run a knife around the edge of the pan, then gently release the springform.
  9. Top with fresh fruit, such as sliced kiwis, oranges and strawberries.

Recipe Notes

Wrap the springform pan with 2-3 layers of tinfoil to avoid water seeping into the cheesecake.

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