Monday, 30 August 2010

At Home: Blackberry and Rosemary Cheesecake

Made with a pound and a half of cream cheese (it has to be full fat) and lashings of sugar, this baked cheesecake - adapted from a recipe in the Soil Association's Grown in Britain Cookbook - is not a light dessert, but unless you're planning to demolish the whole thing yourself, it's an indulgence worth every mouthful. Adding rosemary to the biscuit base adds a welcome fragrant note.

Sweet, tart, and rich, this crowd-pleaser is perfect for a dinner party and will serve 8-10.

  • 200g (7oz) digestive biscuits, crushed
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary
  • 85g (3oz) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
  • 675 (1 1/2lb) cream cheese
  • 225g (8oz) caster sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tsp natural vanilla extract
  • 225g (8oz) blackberries
  • granulated sugar, to taste
  • 1 tsp arrowroot
Mix the crushed biscuits with the chopped rosemary and stir in the melted butter. Press the mixture into the base and about 2.5cm (1in) up the sides of a buttered 20cm (8in) springform tin. Preheat the oven to 150C (300F/Gas 2).

Beat the cheese with the sugar, eggs, and vanilla extract. Spoon into the prepared tin. Level the surface. Bake for 1-1 1/4 hours until set. Turn off the oven and leave until cold.

Stew the fruit in 4 tbsp water until the juices run. Sweeten to taste. Blend the arrowroot with 1 tsp water and stir in. Cook, stirring, until thickened and clear. Leave to cool.

Remove the cheesecake from the tin and place on a serving plate. Spoon the fruit topping over, and top the cake with fresh berries.


VARIATIONS
  • Try using blueberries, stoned cherries, raspberries, redcurrants, blackcurrants, or strawberries. Adjust the added sugar accordingly.
  • Add 80g crushed nuts - roasted pecans or hazelnuts are ideal - to the biscuit base (reducing the quantity of biscuit to 120g).
  • Instead of cooking down the berries to cover the cheesecake, mix the fresh berries gently into the cream mixture before baking. Top with fresh berries and icing sugar to serve.
  • Add 1 tbsp of lemon juice to the cream cheese mixture if you'd like to temper the sweetness.
  • Add the zest of an orange to the cream cheese mixture.

2 comments:

  1. Looks delicious and very seasonal, but I particularly like using rosemary in the biscuit base. Will have to try and remember that one.

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  2. It does truly look decadent and so seasonal. I love the use of the rosemary in the base. I've tried it once myself and really liked it.

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