Israeli cheesecake is entirely different from American cheesecake. It is creamy, cool and sandwiched between a buttery crust and crumb. Unlike other cheesecakes, this style of cheesecake is simple to prepare and requires minimal baking—only the crust and crumbs are baked. It tastes incredible.
This recipe is excerpted with permission from “The Modern Table: Kosher Recipes for Everyday Gatherings” by Kim Kushner. Copyright © 2022 by Kim Kushner.
- 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp baking powder
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, cubed
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 egg yolks
- 2 cups heavy cream
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or seeds from 1 vanilla pod
- 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
- grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 (9-inch) springform pans or 1 (9-inch) springform and 1 baking sheet
- Preheat oven to 350ºF. Line the base of 2 (9-inch) springform pans with parchment paper. Alternatively, line 1 (9-inch) springform pan and 1 baking sheet.
- In a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. Set aside.
- In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment (or using a hand-held mixer), cream butter and sugar on medium-high for 2 minutes.
- Add the vanilla and egg yolks. Mix on medium speed for 1 minute, until combined.
- Add the flour mixture to the wet ingredients. Mix on medium speed until a dough is formed.
- Divide the dough into 2 equal-sized balls. Add a dough ball to the prepared pan and, using your fingertips, spread out and press the dough into the base in an even layer. Repeat with the other dough ball in the second baking pan.
- Bake both for 20 minutes, until golden. Remove the pans from the oven and set aside to cool completely.
- Meanwhile, prepare the cheesecake filling. In a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment (or using a hand-held mixer), combine heavy cream, sugar and vanilla and beat for 5 minutes, until stiff peaks form. (The peaks should stand straight up.) Transfer mixture to a bowl.
- Switch to the paddle attachment. Combine cream cheese and lemon zest and mix for 1 minute, until light and fluffy. Add the whipped cream and mix on medium speed until combined. Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan. Using a spatula, spread mixture in an even layer.
- Using your hands, crumble the crust from the other pan into fine crumbs. Sprinkle the crumbs over top the cheesecake. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours or overnight.
- To serve, carefully remove the cheesecake from the springform pan, peel away the parchment paper and transfer to a serving plate.
To line a springform baking pan with parchment paper, trace the pan on a piece of parchment paper with a pen or pencil. Cut out the shape. Spray the pan lightly with cooking spray and press the parchment paper into the base of the pan.
The crust and crumbs can be prepared in advance, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap and kept in a cool, dry place for up to 3 days. (Or in the freezer for up to 1 month.)
The filling can be prepared up to 2 hours in advance.