Cheesecake is as necessary an accoutrement to summer as strawberries and cream, Pimms and Test cricket on the radio. This recipe uses beautiful Buffalo and Sheep’s cheese yoghurt, but any very thick Greek yoghurt will do. The nutty cookie (kooky even) base is a handy gluten free number involving almonds, oats and organic coconut oil, which imparts a really strong taste, and oats.
Of course you can add any compote…cherry and star anise, redcurrants and lemon, apricots and bay leaf, poached pears in wine and of course blackberry and apple…. The list is endless as the season’s fruit peaks. I finally found some rhubarb so made a quick rhubarb, strawberry and ginger compote. Compote is what my grandmother sued to call “stewed fruit” and she and my grandfather ate it every day, rain or shine with whatever the garden produced or had been preserved for winter. They ate it with two types of Bird’s custard (cold and warm) whereas I like to play around with panna cottas, yoghurts and cheesecakes. Yet come winter I can’t resist stewed cinnamon apples and custard!
Time & Timing
Brilliant for entertaining – make it the day before or as I do while having breakfast, when you can pretend that nibbling bits of the base counts as eating a healthy granola breakfast.
Gadgets & Gizmos
A spring removable base cake tin, for example one with a clip really does help. I place a piece of baking paper over the base and then close the spring. This handy tip means you don’t have to be chiseling crumbling biscuit base off the tin when trying to serve.
Ingredients – for a 22cm cheesecake 3cm deep
The cheesecake filling:
500g Buffalo/Sheep’s Cheese Yoghurt (I use “Cedra”)
1.5 tsp Vegetarian Gelatine (7.5g) + 100ml boiling water
Zest and juice of 1 lemon or 2 limes
75g fructose or 75g honey or a little of both
The Oat & Almond Crunchy Base:
75g Oat Flour (“faina de ovaz”)
25g Oats ( « fulgi de ovaz”)
50g fructose (I use the “SLU” brand)
75g almonds (“migdale”) (I use the ones with the skins on)
¼ tsp. baking powder
50g solid coconut oil (if you are not vegan use butter)
1. Preheat your oven to 180C. Line the sprung cake tin. Lightly grease the sides so the cake will slip out easily or make a “band” of baking paper 1cm higher than the tin.
2. Blitz your almonds roughly, not to a fine powder.
3. In a large mixing bowl or in a Kitchen Aid/Kenwood mix together the oats, oat flour, blitzed almonds, coconut, fructose, honey and baking powder until it resembles a sticky crumble mix.
4. Press this sticky mix into the base of the tin and press down. Bake for 10-12 minutes until a light golden brown and allow to cool.
5. Pour 100ml boiling water into a small bowl and sprinkle the gelatine over the top and let it dissolve and go kind of “gluey”. Make sure no lumps and give it a gentle stir
6. Zest and juice your citrus fruit.
7. In a large bowl, whisk together the yoghurt, citrus juice, citrus zest and honey/fructose. Mix in the gelatine mixture well.
8. Pour the yoghurt/gelatine mixture over the base (it should be pleasantly thick and gloopy) until it is aligned with the top of the tin.
9. Refrigerate to set (4-6 hours). Turn out by very gently releasing the spring and un-peeling the paper if using. The entire cheesecake should just sit on top of the bottom layer of baking paper which you can easily peel off and slide your masterpiece onto a plate or for real “wow” factor a cake stand.
10. Serve with your favorite fruit compote dribbled over the top.
Improvs and Variations
Make in tea cups or cappuccino cups, skip the base and pour in leaving enough room for the compote ! Easy peasy!
By Rachel Sargent, guest writer
Chef / patron at The London Street Atelier, facebook.com/thelondonstreetatelierNr5
(photo source: Rachel Sargent)