Tuesday, September 1, 2009

There is heaven on earth...

and it goes by the name of "cheesecake"

Cheesecakes are a bit of a blast from the past. Made numerous amounts of them in my younger days but I think I stopped when I read one too many times the kilojoule count of a good cheesecake.

Recently my son had some and so I decided that I should brush off my recipes because it would be a really good thing to cook with the kids.

I am searching for THE best lemon cheesecake (or the best 10...you can never have too much lemon cheesecake) I thank Carla for this one. I used to make it growing up but somewhere the recipe went AWOL. The boys and I made it at the weekend. So fast, so easy and so, so yummy.


200 grams plain sweet biscuits (Marie, Milk Arrowroot, Granita etc)
80 grams melted butter (approximately)
Optional: handful of nuts to add to the base (hazelnuts, pecans etc)
1/2 to 3/4 cup of lemon juice from VERY ripe lemons
1 packet softened cream cheese
2 cans condensed milk (OK so you only need 1 for the recipe...oh, now what could you do with that 2nd can? OK So maybe you'd be sick if you ate a whole can...should I try it and see?)

Crush biscuits (with oir without nuts added) to fine crumbs.
Mix through butter and press into foil lined pie dish (I use a spring form tin)
Pop into fridge while you make the filling.
Beat cheese and milk in a bowl until smooth.
Add lemon juice and continue beating until mixture thickens. My lemons were yellow but not really ripe and it still worked but I think that the mix wold go thicker if the lemons were riper.
If you want, you can zest some lemon peel over the top.
Refrigerate till ready to eat (or until you just can't bear the anticipation any longer)

I remember making cheesecake bases by placing the bickies in a plastic bag and bashing the proverbial out of them with the rolling pin. Man, was that time consuming! But that was how we were taught at school. I have this time round plugged in the food processor and voila! Biscuit crumbs faster than you can wipe that condensed milk off your face. (My guilty little cooking secret is that I no longer rub the cold butter into the flour patiently with the tips of my fingers when cooking scones. I don't know if it is due to time constraints, laziness and the need for faster gratification or the fact that I've never enjoyed the task but I still feel like I am letting my grandmothers, great grandmothers and any other scone-cooking rellies who came before them down)

So now that I have been sucked back into the kilojoule laden vortex that is cheesecake making, last night I impulsively made another one. Well, I had to really. I have some overripes strawberries that need to be used up. Oh, the sacrifices...


180g biscuit crumbs
90g melted butter
1 punnet strawberries (go, ahead and pop a few extra ones in. Yummmm!)
1 packet of softened cream cheese
1 tin condensed milk
3 teaspoons gelatine
3 Tablespoons boiling water
32ml whipped cream (apparently optional- I will explain)
1/3 cup lemon juice

Make up cheesecake base and refrigerate.
Beat cheese till soft then add milk, juice and gelatine.
Fold in cream and cruhed strawberries.
Pour over base and refrigerate.

This recipe came from my mum and my nan before her. They are both ladies who adore whipped cream. I made this last night without the whipped cream because I didn't have whippable cream and because I am not a fan and it set just fine. The flavour was probably more intense and I guess the cheesecake was probably a bit heavier for it but hmmm, no, it was still divine.


I think for the sake of our cardiovascular systems that we will not be making any more cheesecakes for a little bit.

But I will keep you posted on the great lemon cheesecake search!