To date most of my posts have been about my sewing exploits. Today I thought I’d share something a little bit different with you, after all I always intended that this blog would be about more than just my sewing.
After a couple of months of waiting we have finally had out first really sunny weekend and with it our first barbeque of the season. While we grill for ourselves almost daily in the summer it is not everyday that we invite our friends round for an afternoon of fun and food. We keep things simple here, good food served up simply and good company to enjoy it. No themed parties, no decor and design. You take us as we are and that’s how we enjoy it. The days starts early with with my husband tending a nice piece of pork (for later pulling) in the smoker and me whipping up a few salads in the kitchen.
By mid afternoon the organisation is done, the guests arrive and after that it’s just a relaxed affair. We chat, play with the children and once we feel it’s food time we get the grill on and that’s pretty much it. It’s all served up ready to help yourself and enjoy.
After food there must of course be desert and this time around I decided on cheesecakes. One baked, one set. For the baked cheesecake I opted for a raspberry lime cheesecake. I simply took the margarita lime cheesecake recipe from Liv Life that I love to bits and replaced the tequila with 200g (7oz) fresh raspberries. The set cheesecake was a lemon cheesecake, one I have been making for close to 30 years now, with the addition of a lemon curd topping. I’d never made the cheesecake with the topping before, and suffice it to say I’ll never be making it without it in the future.
Lemon Curd Lemon Cheese cake
For the lemon curd:
zest and juice of 2 unwaxed bio lemons
100g (3.5oz) sugar
50g (1.75oz) butter
2 eggs, remove about 1/2 of the white from one of the eggs
For the cheesecake base:
225 g (8oz) crushed digestive biscuits
115g (4oz) melted butter
For the cheesecake topping:
285g (10oz) cream cheese
280ml (10fl oz) whipping cream
115g (4 oz) castor sugar
juice of 2 lemons
4 leaves of gelatine
First make the lemond curd. Place the lemon juice and rin, the sugar and the butter in a heatproof dish over a pan of simmering water. Stir till the butter is melted and the sugar dissolved. Whisk the egg in a bowl then whisk into the lemon mixture. Ensuring the water in the pan stays at barely simmering continue to gently whisk the curd mixture till it feels thick and custard like. This should take about 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool, stirring ocassionally, while you make the cheesecake.
To make the cheesecake easier to remove later I line the base of a 24cm (9″) springform tin with baking parchment. I find it easiest to just place a square of parchment on the base, attach the side then rip or cut off the excess paper.
Place the gelatine leaves to soak in a bowl of cold water. Mix together the crushed digestives and butter and press the mix firmly onto the base of the tin to form the cheesecake base. Whisk together the cream cheese, cream and sugar till well combined.
Heat the juice of half a lemon till warm. Remove the gelatine from the water and dissolve in the warm lemon juice. Once dissolved mix in the remaining lemon juice. Whisk the lemon juice into the cream mix and continue whisking till the mixture starts to thicken. Pour the cheesecake mixture over the base. At this stage the cheesecake should be firm enough to support the lemon curd so spread this in a layer over the top of the cheesecake. Chill the cheesecake for a couple of hours or overnight before serving.
To serve run a knife around the tin sides. Remove the tin sides and then slide the cheese cake onto a serving platter.
Notes: You can substitute agar for the gelatine or even use 3/4 of a lemon jelly tablet to set the cheesecake instead of gelatine.
You can easily make a double quantity of lemon curd (using 3 eggs and 1 egg yolk) if you want extra to serve with toast, scones, cakes etc. Pour the extra into a sterilised glass jar and it will keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge.