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Blackberry and lemoncurd cheesecake

A baked germanic cheesecake with blackberries and lemon curd. Yes please. Makes a cheesecake for 12 slices.

Cheesecake, artist's impression
  • 12 digestive biscuits
  • 85g butter/marge
  • 500g quark
  • 400g cream cheese
  • 200g icing sugar
  • 3 eggs (we'll be using 3 whites and 2 yolks)
  • 225g blackberries (if you have more, you could make a coulis to go with it)
  • 110g lemon curd (approximate amount)

Put the oven on at 180C. Line a round springform cake tin (7" diameter maybe) with greaseproof paper.

Crush the biscuits roughly in a bag, and melt the butter/marge in a pan or in a microwave. Mix the biscuits and butter/marge well then press it into the tin, forming an even base all the way to the edges. Put in the oven for 10 minutes, then take it out and leave it out to cool. If you have time, put it in the fridge for up to an hour to firm up.

Turn the oven down to 140C.

Beat the quark, cream cheese, icing sugar and two egg yolks together.

Whisk the egg whites to stiff peaks. Then fold them gently into the quark mixture, with a wooden or plastic spoon, taking care not to over-mix (which would take the air out).

Now to assemble the thing in layers:

  1. Pour one-third of the quark mixture or less (a quarter?) onto the biscuit base. (I say "or less" because you want to be sure you have enough left to do the very last layer, it's important for it to be on the top.) Smooth the layer out flat.
  2. Then put the lemon curd on top of the mixture - it's quite blobby and thick so it'll be hard to get an even coating, and you wouldn't want that anyway - but try your best to get a fairly even sprinkling of tiny blobs all over, and don't try smooshing it out afterward cos it won't work.
  3. Then another one-third of the quark mixture. Smooth it out evenishly.
  4. Now sprinkle the blackberries over the top. You do NOT want to make a complete covering, because structurally you don't want the blackberries to keep the top quark layer from meeting up with the lower quark layers. So don't pack them too tightly, and only do one layer.
  5. Finally the rest of the quark mixture. Again, smooth the top, if you want. The important thing is to have quark mixture all over the top, hiding the blackberries from the oven.

Now bake this in the oven, for about 90 minutes. (Cooking slowly, at 140 rather than 180, is so that it doesn't brown on top, or at least not much.) Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool in the oven, with the door ajar (cooling it slowly helps prevent cracking, though when using the blackberries it's quite unlikely you'll avoid all cracking). Refrigerate.

Serve with some blackberry coulis if you have more blackberries! Not necessary though. It's great as-is - ideally you should get it out of the fridge a while before you eat it so it isn't too chilly.

VARIATION: Cranachan cheesecake

The traditional Scottish dessert of cranachan involves raspberries, oats, cream and whisky, so let's do something like that! Follow the recipe above but:

  • raspberries rather than blackberries;
  • a flavourful honey in place of the lemon curd;
  • add a good handful of oats to the base mixture, as well as a single shot of whisky;
  • shortly before serving, heat a dry frying pan and toast a handful of oats until aromatic. Turn off the heat. When the oats are cool enough to touch, sprinkle them on top of the cheesecake (I sprinkled them all near the outer edge).
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