Wednesday, May 17, 2006

CREAMY LEMON CHEESECAKE

After much testing, I've finally settled on a definitive lemon (or orange) cheesecake recipe. Cheesecake recipes vary hugely, but this simple baked cake includes no gelatine, no strawberry jelly, no annoyingly gritty zest, and no fancy amaretti biscuits.

We ate it topped with orange chunks, but raspberry coulis would be divine poured over the top. There are lots of oranges arriving in our fruit bag from the farm at the moment, so we will probably be having an all-orange version next!

There is a gorgeous photograph of a lemon cheesecake on the cover of BBC Good Food this month. It is served outdoors, with a glass of white wine - perfect lunch if you ask me.

MAKES A SMALL CHEESECAKE (7" tin)

2oz digestive biscuits, whizzed to crumbs
1/3 cup ground almonds
1oz butter

1lb (400g - two boxes) cream cheese
2/3 cup caster sugar
4 eggs
4floz liquid, made up from 1tbsp lemon/orange juice and the rest double cream

Whiz biscuits and almonds, melt butter and stir together. Press into tin, wrap bottom of tin in foil, and put into freezer.

For the topping, blend the cream cheese, sugar, eggs and cream thoroughly in a processor. It will look sloppy but that's good -- pour onto the base and carefully slide onto the middle oven shelf.

Bake at 140 degrees C (275 F) for up to about an hour, checking often - the centre will be wobbly but just set. Cool in the tin - it will firm more as it cools. The centre will be the creamiest bit!! In fact, I think this cheesecake would benefit from minimal cooking - so will try to catch it sooner next time.