Baked Lemon Cheesecake

mine wasn’t styled this nicely…

This baked lemon cheesecake appears in my next book – which, of course, means that it gets tried out on my family first, and you guys second. I can’t tell you who bakes it in the book as that would be a spoiler alert, but feature it does.

The recipe comes originally from Rick Stein’s French Odyssey, with, naturally a few tweaks here and there – not that Rick’s version wasn’t perfect to start with, just that when I was making it, I didn’t have quite enough of a few ingredients so had to improvise. The result was a slightly lighter texture which my husband said he preferred. As an aside, he’s a tough marker when it comes to cheesecake – he doesn’t like anything overly sweet and he doesn’t enjoy a coconutty base.

Likewise the berry compote. I’ll give you the recipe for it, but really I just used some fresh blueberries from the market and the remainder of a punnet of raspberries from the previous week. Later on in the week I melted down some good raspberry jam and drizzled on top – that’s what I’ve used in the photo below.

Anyways, here’s how you make it…

Before you start

  • Line the base of a 20cm springform tin – one of those ones with the clips on them that makes them spring open – with baking paper and grease or butter the tin lightly.
  • Preheat the oven to 150C.

For the base

  • 100g butter, melted
  • 200g plain biscuits. If you can get them plain digestives are good.
  • 2 tablespoons caster sugar

Pop the biscuits into a large sandwich bag and smash them with a rolling pin – or a tin. You want them crushed, so feel free to bash away a bad week on them.

Once the biscuits are crumbs, mix through the sugar and the melted butter. Tip it into the tin and press firmly into the base. The back of a spoon does this job well.

For the cheesecake

  • 500g cream cheese – don’t even be tempted to consider low fat
  • 200g caster sugar
  • 3 eggs, preferably at room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons cornflour
  • 300ml crème fraiche. (I used 200ml crème fraiche and 100ml natural unsweetened yoghurt)
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon and 3 tablespoons lemon juice

Beat together the cream cheese and the sugar until its silky smooth. Add the eggs – one at a time – and beat well between each addition. Add the cornflour, crème fraiche (or crème fraiche and yoghurt), lemon zest and lemon juice and beat well.

Pour the mix into the tin and place into the oven. You’ll need to bake it for 50 minutes to an hour. The top will be set, but there should be a slight wobble still in the centre. Turn the oven off, but resist the urge to open the oven door too often. You want it to cool gently as the oven cools – it helps minimise the risk of the cheesecake splitting – but doesn’t guarantee that it won’t! If it does split, don’t worry too much – you can always cover it with berries…and yes, this is not the dessert that you make at the last minute!

For the berry compote

225g raspberries

50g caster sugar

Finely grated zest of ½ and orange

350g mixed berries

We usually have berries of all types in the freezer – I buy up big at the markets when they’re in season and freeze in little bags for Sarah’s smoothies during the week – and it’s ok to use frozen ones.

Put the raspberries, sugar and orange zest into a bowl and crush into a puree with the back of a fork. Push it through a sieve into a clean bowl and mix the other berries in. Chill until you’re ready to serve.

It’s Thursday, so it’s time to look for our happy and share it about a bit. The Lovin’ Life Linky is brought to you by Team Lovin’ Life: Deep Fried Fruit, DebbishSeize the Day ProjectWrite of the Middle50 Shades of Age,  and, of course, me.