There are many reasons why I love the holiday season: the overeating, the lazy afternoons and *shock* Reading A Book. This is such a rare luxury whilst crazy-studying during the year! Recommended reads: Helen O'Neil's biography of Florence Broadhurst is fascinating, her designs are gorgeous and remain so fresh; and Naomi Klein's The Shock Doctrine is a scary, rude awakening (cheers for the loan M's!).
However I digress.
My favourite part of the holidays is catching up with mates returning from inter- state and -national for Christmas.
And what good is catching up without delicious bites?
My weakness for all things creamy was reawakened by Masumi who brought along a Baked Cheesecake from an old family favourite recipe. It was so light and fluffy, and the fresh Swan Hill eggs in the cheesecake resulted in a beautiful orangey colour. 'Sumi served this with sour cream and strawberries on top, a fresh sweet sharp contrast - ooh it was so good (sorry, no pics to fawn over).
Sadly, 'Sumi returned to the Mallee recipe in tow and since 30+ degrees is just too damn hot for baking, I lazily went searching for cheesecakes at the Queen Vic Deli hall. No dice.
I like sunny afternoon teas way too much, so was very happy when we tried this recipe from the food pornographer the last couple of weekends. We also added some lemon zest and increased the amount of lemon juice from one tablespoon to the juice of half a lemon. Tastes wonderful with a dollop of yoghurt, strawbs and a cup of Daintree tea (from McIvers at Queen Vic Market).
And it's almost as good as 'Sumi's holiday treat ;)
Baked Lemon Cheesecake
recipe from the food pornographer, my changes in square brackets
5 oz Marie biscuit, crushed [ ~145g]
2 teaspoons castor sugar (optional)
3 ½ oz butter, melted [~100g ]
8 oz Philadelphia cream cheese [~230g, we used the whole 250g block]
1 dessertspoon lemon juice [the juice of half a lemon and lemon zest]
½ cup cream or evaporated milk (well chilled)
½ cup castor sugar
2 eggs, separated
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
pinch of salt
- Crush biscuits, add sugar and mix with melted butter.
- Press biscuit mixture into a spring-open cake tin (or any cake tin, or pyrex dish) so it forms a case, pressing down the mixture compactly. Chill till needed for use.
- Separate eggs - set aside yolks, and beat egg white till stiff.
- Beat cream cheese with sugar, Vanilla essence and lemon juice till smooth.
- Add egg yolks to mixture.
- Fold in chilled cream or milk into mixture, and finally the egg white. [Add a small amount of egg white mixture to lighten the cheese/cream mix and then carefully fold in the remaining egg white]
- Pour mixture into biscuit case and bake at 350 oF (or 160 oC) for 1 hour.
- Leave in oven to cool.
- Serve with whipped cream or ice-cream, strawberries, kiwi fruit or canned peaches (or any fruits of your choice – only keep away from canned pineapple – this causes the cheese cake to literally crumble!)