The gorgeous weather we’re having recently has ripened up some early juicy blackberries in the hedgerows. I picked a bowlful yesterday and decided to turn them into a delicious compote to go with my all-time favourite cheesecake. If you can’t get blackberries, use blueberries or raspberries for an equally delicious topping.
I’m not normally a fan of “light” or “low-fat” products but for this cheesecake I make an exception. I use “Light Philadephia” as I think it gives a less dense finish to the cheesecake and doesn’t make it overly rich.
To get the authentic glossy finish on the top, I spread a mix of soured cream & sugar over the cheesecake about 15 minutes before the end of cooking time.
This recipe serves 12.
250g mix of digestive and ginger nut biscuits
80g butter, melted
1kg light cream cheese but use regular if you prefer
200g caster sugar
1 rounded tblsp plain flour, sifted
4 large free range eggs
grated zest & juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp vanilla extract
150ml soured cream
250g blackberries (or other berries)
1 tblsp caster sugar
Juice half lemon
1. Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan & lightly butter a 24cm springform cake tin
2. Add the biscuits and melted butter into a food processor & blitz until fine and well combined. Spread the biscuit mix over the bottom of the tin and press down. I use the back of a spoon to smooth it out and spread the mix a little way up the sides of the tin too. Chill in the fridge for and hour or pop in the freezer for 20 minutes if you’re under pressure.
3.In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, 175g of the sugar and the sifted flour. Beat until smooth.
4. Add the eggs one at a time, beating between each addition. Next add the lemon zest, juice and vanilla extract. When all combined pour over the prepared chilled base and bake for 15 minutes. After the 15 minutes reduce the temperature down to 150C or 140C fan and cook for a further 45 minutes.
5. While the cake is in the oven, beat the soured cream with the remaining 25g sugar. After the 45 minutes are up, remove the cheesecake carefully from the oven and very gently spoon and smooth the soured cream over the top. Go gently as you don’t want to break the surface. (see picture below)
6. Return the cake to the oven, cook for a further 15 minutes then switch off the oven and leave the cake to rest inside for at least an hour. Remove then chill the cake completely in the fridge before serving.
7. To make the blackberry compote, simply simmer the ingredients together in a pot until the berries become soft (about 15 minutes).
8. To finish the cake, spoon the compote over the top. It’s normal to get cracks in the top of the cake, so topping it with the compote or even fresh berries is a great way to hide the cracks!
Gently spoon the soured cream mix over the nearly cooked cake