Lemon cheesecake in poppy seed pastry

by Leah Halmagyi


  • 150g poppy seeds
  • 175g plain flour
  • pinch fine salt
  • 1 Tbsp pure icing sugar, sifted
  • 200g frozen unsalted butter, grated
  • 750g cream cheese
  • 250g caster sugar
  • seeds of 1 vanilla bean
  • finely-grated zest and juice of 4 lemons
  • 6 eggs
  • 100ml cream
  • 2 leave gelatine, soaked in cold water


1 Preheat oven to 150°C. Scatter the poppy seeds on a tray and bake for 15 minutes, until beginning to smoke. Cool, then grind to a powder. Combine with 150g flour, then salt and icing sugar in a bowl, then mix in the butter and toss lightly. Turn out onto a bench then smear with the palm of a hand until the pastry just comes together. Flatten to a disc, then refrigerate overnight.
2 Roll out the pastry to 5mm thick, then line into a 23cm springform cake tin. Freeze until firm, then line with foil and baking weights. Bake for 25 minutes, until set, then allow to cool.
3 Combine the cream cheese, 200g caster sugar, vanilla seeds and lemon zest in a food process and pulse until very smooth. Add the eggs and cream, then pulse again. Pour into the pastry case and place on the middle shelf of the oven. Put a tray of hot water on a lower shelf, then bake for 1 hour, until just set. Allow to cool completely.
4 Heat half the lemon juice and remaining sugar until dissolved, then stir in the soaked and drained gelatine. Add the remaining lemon juice then strain on top of the cheesecake and refrigerate until set.