For the base:
70g unsalted butter, plus extra for greasing
150g digestive biscuits
1 egg white
For the filling:
600g full-fat soft cheese, at room temperature
200ml soured cream
150g caster sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
4 large eggs, beaten
For the topping:
200ml soured cream
1 tbsp caster sugar
2 tsp lemon juice
1. Preheat the oven to gas 4, 180°C, fan 160°C and put a baking tray on the middle shelf to preheat. Grease the base and sides of a 20cm springform cake tin.
2. Melt the butter in a small saucepan over a medium-low heat. Put the biscuits in a food processor and blitz to fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times to evenly coat the crumbs.
3. Tip the buttery crumbs into the prepared tin and spread out over the base, pressing down firmly with the back of a spoon to create a compact, flat, even layer – particularly into the edges of the tin.
4. Place the tin on the hot baking tray and bake for 20 mins until golden – this will help the base stay extra crisp. Set aside to cool. Reduce the oven temperature to gas ¼, 110°C, fan 90°C – leaving the baking tray in the oven. Once the base is cool, brush with the egg white – this will help seal the base and stop it going soggy when the filling is added.
5. Put the soft cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat with an electric whisk on medium/low speed for 1 min until smooth. Add the soured cream cornflour, sugar and vanilla extract and beat gently until just combined, scraping down the side to make sure everything is incorporated.
6. Add the beaten eggs a little at a time, beating after each addition until just combined. Once smooth stop beating to prevent it from becoming over-worked.
7. Pour the filling into the tin over the base. Tap the tin gently on the work surface to level the top and remove any air bubbles. Place on the preheated baking tray and bake for 1½ hrs, until just set with a slight wobble in the middle – if it seems very wobbly, return to the oven for an extra 5-10 mins.
8. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake to cool completely inside – running a palette knife around the edge of the cheesecake can help prevent cracking as it shrinks away from the sides as it cools.
9. For the topping, mix together the soured cream, sugar and lemon juice in a bowl. Remove the completely cool cheesecake from the oven and pour the soured cream mix over the top, spreading it out with a palette knife or spoon to form a smooth layer right up to the edges of the tin.
10. Loosely cover the whole tin with tin foil and chill in the fridge for at least 8 hrs or overnight.
11. When ready to serve, uncover, run a palette knife around the edge of the cheesecake then unclip the tin. Transfer to a serving plate.
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