Pete's berry cheesecake

This recipe belongs to my late step-mother Izzi, who was a wonderful cook, and whom I miss very much.  

 For a gluten free version of this recipe, simply use gluten free biscuits. Gluten free hobnobs and gluten free chocolate hobnobs work very well.

 INGREDIENTS

Berries - Nature’s candy!

Berries - Nature’s candy!

 175 grams digestive biscuits / ginger nut biscuits / hobnobs / chocolate hobnobs*

75 grams unsalted butter, melted

175 grams blueberries / raspberries / blackberries (plus extra for decorating)

2 Rocchetta cheeses** (Italian triple milk cheese, available in the shop)

150 grams caster sugar

1 teaspoon vanilla extract / 1 vanilla pod

2 eggs, lightly beaten

icing sugar to dust (optional)

 

CROCHETA.jpg

*Here is a variant: baked chocolate whisky cheesecake: if you are using chocolate hobnobs, you might leave out the fruit and, if you like, add a shot of whisky to the mix.

**Most baked cheesecake recipes use standard ‘cream cheese’ however creamy, luscious Rocchetta works particularly well. There are other Hamish Johnston cheeses that also do the job - Ricotta Longo, Delice de Bourgogne (be sure to discard the rind), Whitelake goat’s curd.

METHOD

1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (350F) or gas mark 4. Butter sides and base of cake tin. It is best to have a tin that is called a spring-form as it has a clasp at the side that opens easily or a loose bottom tin.

2. Crush the biscuits until quite fine - either in a food processor or put them in a poly bag and use a rolling pin. Mix the crushed biscuits with the melted butter and press down into base of cake tin so that it is nice and even. Spread the blueberries over the base and allow to chill in the fridge while you make the topping.

 3. Beat the cheese, sugar, vanilla and eggs in a bowl until they are smooth and creamy. Pour over the top of the blueberries and bake in the oven for 40 minutes or until it is pale golden and should only wobble very slightly when you gently shake the tin.

4. Allow to cool in the tin for about 10 mins, then run a knife around the edge to loosen it and carefully remove the cheesecake from the tin.

5. Transfer to a serving plate. Sprinkle some more blueberries over the top and dust with icing sugar. Cut into slices to serve. Best eaten when served at room temperature - if you can wait that long!

Peter Wiggins

The finished cake - We love the rustic look

The finished cake - We love the rustic look