Bistro cheesecake

Bistro cheesecake

Vanessa Levis

I’ve taken in lots of Broadway shows in New York over the years, and often called into the world-famous Lindy’s afterwards for a piece of their sinfully rich but heavenly cheesecake. This is as good as it gets, and is a variation of the cheesecake that was so popular in my early days, when I used to demonstrate it.

Crumb crust


Quantity Ingredient
2 cups coarsely broken plain biscuits (such as nice)
1/2 cup ground almonds
1/4 cup thickened cream
75g butter, melted


Quantity Ingredient
750g cream cheese, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
2 eggs
1 lemon, grated rind
1 tablespoon lemon juice


Quantity Ingredient
1 1/2 cups sour cream
2 tablespoons caster sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg, to sprinkle


  1. Preheat the oven to 190°C.
  2. Use a blender or food processor to process the broken biscuits into fine crumbs. Transfer to a bowl. Add the ground almonds, cream and melted butter and mix well. Using your fingers, press the crumb mixture into a 22 cm springform pan to come 4 cm up the sides. Chill while making the filling.
  3. To make the filling, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Beat in the lemon rind and juice. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the prepared crumb crust, spreading it evenly with a spatula. Bake for 25–30 minutes or until very lightly browned on top. Remove from the oven and cool to room temperature.
  4. Increase the oven temperature to 220°C. Using an electric mixer, beat the sour cream, sugar and vanilla until smooth. Pour over the cheesecake and spread evenly. Bake for 5 minutes or until glazed and shiny. Remove from the oven and cool. Refrigerate overnight or for at least 6 hours. Sprinkle with grated nutmeg and serve.


  • Cherry cheesecake

    Drain canned cherries, pat dry and fold through the filling.

    Ginger cheesecake

    Use ginger biscuits in the base and stir chopped crystallised ginger through the filling. Sprinkle with ground ginger in place of nutmeg.

    Lemon or passionfruit cheesecake

    Replace the sour cream topping with Lemon or Passionfruit Butter. There is no need to bake the filling in the oven for 5 minutes.

    Fruit-topped cheesecake

    Instead of nutmeg, decorate with passionfruit, strawberries, grated chocolate or sliced kiwi fruit.


  • The cheesecake can be made a few days ahead and kept covered and chilled. If you don’t have a food processor, place biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin or the base of a saucepan.


  • This cheesecake became the signature dish at Johnnie Walker’s bistro in Sydney. It was always a top seller and I used to make it at the cookery class I conducted there. Don’t attempt to make it at the last moment – you need to prepare it a day ahead and then refrigerate it.
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