The weather has begun to turn here.
Melbourne, being known for having four seasons in a single day, has held true to it’s reputation throughout spring.
It has showered us with bursts of sunshine throughout lots of cold and rainy days, almost as if it is teasing us with hints of the summer that is about to come.
I’m latching onto those summery, warm moments. I’m embracing the sunny days. I’m buying skirts and shorts and shelving my winter coats (only to pull them out again the next day, but just let me pretend for one day, okay?).
I’m drinking gin and tonics filled with raspberries in every ray of sunshine I can steal. I’m trying to get a tan. Key word? Trying.
I’m eating ice cream. Liquid nitrogen ice cream, that is. The stuff is amazing. So creamy. And the creme brûlée flavour? Oh. My. God. Thank you N2!
And I’m baking with summer berries. Real summer berries, not frozen summer berries. Yay!
These cheesecakes are super easy, and super cute. You’ll be making your own biscuit for the base, and a little berry jelly to go on top, but don’t be scared – it’s super simple.
Now, if you’re on the other side of the globe and heading into the depths of winter, I’m sorry! I feel your pain. But you can still make these. Just use some frozen raspberries. Or a citrus! And enjoy. X
- FOR THE BASE:
- 90g unsalted butter (3 oz)
- 3 tbsp water
- 1 tbsp vegetable oil
- 1 tbsp sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1 cup flour (150g)
- FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- 500g cream cheese (18 oz.)
- 150g caster sugar (2/3 cup)
- zest of 1 lemon
- 2 eggs
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- 200ml thickened cream (7 fl.oz.)
- FOR THE TOPPING:
- 1 - 2 punnets of strawberries
- 1 - 2 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
- 1 - 2 leaves gold strength gelatine
- FOR THE BASE:
- To make the cheesecakes, line a 12-hole muffin pan with cupcake liners.
- To bake the pasty, preheat the oven to 200 C (400 F) and line a tray with baking paper.
- Place the butter, water, oil, sugar and salt in an overproof bowl.
- Put the bowl in the oven for about 15 minutes, until the butter is melted, bubbling, and just beginning to brown around the edges.
- Carefully remove the bowl from the oven and dump in the flour. Stir quickly, until the dough comes together and pulls away from the side of the dish.
- Spread the pastry out evenly and thinly on the lined tray.
- Bake until golden. Allow to cool.
- Break the pastry sheet into chunks and blitz in a food processor until a fine, crumbly, buttery, wet mixture forms.
- Divide the biscuit mixture between the 12 muffin liners (about a tablespoon in each) and press down to form a flat, smooth, compact base. Refrigerate until required.
- TO MAKE THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- Reduce the oven to 160 C (325 F).
- In the food processor or using a stand mixer, blitz the cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest until smooth and creamy. Scrape down the sides and blitz again.
- Add the eggs and blitz until combined. Scrape down the sides again. Add the cream and lemon juice and once again blitz until smooth and combined.
- Transfer the cheesecake mixture into a jug.
- Pour the mixture into the muffin tins, filling each cup to the top.
- Place in the oven and bake for 20 minutes, until just set with a slight wibble in the center. They will continue to set as they cool.
- Keep them in the tin at room temperature for an hour, then refrigerate.
- FOR THE STRAWBERRY TOPPING:
- While the cheesecakes are cooling in the fridge, you can optionally make a jelly. You can use as many strawberries as you like, and add sugar to taste. I used one punnet of berries, hulled them and blended them with a tablespoon of sugar using a stick blender.
- Weigh your mixture (or pour into a measuring jug and check the volume) - for every 100ml of strawberry purée, you will need 1 gold strength gelatine leaf.
- Heat the strawberry purée in a bowl sitting on top of a pot of simmering water until it is warm to the touch.
- Meanwhile, soften the gelatine in cold water for 3-5 minutes, squeeze out the excess water and stir it into your warm strawberry purée.
- Place a tablespoon or two of the jelly on each cheesecake, garnished with half or a quarter of a strawberry and returned them to the fridge to set completely.
- Makes 12 cheesecakes.
- Happy baking!
Tart pastry adapted from David Leibovitz.
Cheesecake recipe adapted from Exclusively Food.