Ah, cheesecake…deliciously creamy and utterly gorgeous. This used to be a Sunday lunchtime favourite, especially during the summer, and it’s one of those desserts where your pudding stomach can be really handy. Always room for seconds!I thought it might go down well at the farm, and it did, the same smiles all over again! What’s more there’s no cooking required, just a bit of chilling. Very apt…!
Mum’s Cheesecake (serves at least 12)
12 digestive Biscuits (quality!)
25g caster sugar
1 sachet gelatine
75g caster sugar
Pinch of salt
1 egg yolk
1 tbl lemon juice
200g cream cheese
5 tbl double cream
1 egg white (*)
1 carton of luxury pie filling like black cherry, strawberry…
Or fresh fruit if you prefer
(*) The egg white in this recipe will not get cooked, so if you’re concerned about the use of raw egg white, just buy fresh eggs with the British Lion mark that shows that the eggs have been produced to the highest standards of food safety.
Crush the digestives into fine crumbs – my preferred method is to put them in a plastic bag then thump them with a rolling pin. Strangely satisfying and you can add finesse at the end by more gentle use of rolling pin to get every last bit of biscuit turned to crumbs.
Melt the butter in a non-stick pan, add the caster sugar and biscuits and mix the whole lot together. Press it into a 9″ flan tin (removable base is handy) and leave it to cool in the fridge. Base done.
In another non-stick pan, blend the gelatine, salt and sugar for the Liquid Bit (technical term!) Beat the egg yolk into the milk and add that to the pan.
Slowly bring this mix just to the boil, then take it off the heat and add the lemon juice. Put the pan to one side to cool off until it’s beginning to set (about 10-20 minutes).
Whilst that chills, you can get the Cheesey Bit ready. Cream the cheese so it’s smooth, whisk the double cream and blend that in with the cheese. There’s some gorgeous local cream cheeses available if you look in your local Deli or Farm Shop – the more gorgeous the better.
By now your liquid mix has probably started to set, just getting a bit of solidity on its surface. Beat that in with the Cheesey Bit till it’s all smooth. Finally, with a clean whisk in a separate bowl, whisk the egg white up till it’s in stiff peaks. Fold the whisked whites lightly into the creamy cheesey mix. Keep it light and fluffy!
Spoon this mix gently over the chilled biscuit base, and leave it in the fridge to set, usually around 1-2 hours.
Finally add the topping of your choice, and serve with pleasure!