Every now and again I get a sudden craving to make something really colourful. While shades of gold and brown can mean very good things (pastry, chocolate, peanut butter, brown sugar, breads...) sometimes it's nice to have something vibrant to photograph and eat.
I know raspberries are horribly out of season. I just couldn't help myself.
Although I love making unbaked cheesecakes, I've only made one baked one before - a Simple Baked Cheesecake. It was nice, but not a patch on the unbaked type.
A few months ago I came across this recipe from The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook online and quickly bookmarked it (so quickly, in fact, that it's down as 'Radpberry and pistachip Cheesecake'...). Finally a few days ago I found the bookmark again and decided I had to give it a try.
Thankfully it didn't crack and behaved perfectly (see above for weirdly-lit-but-look-no-cracks!-and-isn't-apricot-jam-awfully-orange photo).
My friend Sam had his birthday party last night and this came along with me (as did another dessert you will hear about soon...). Hence no inside photos. It seemed to go down really well - there's nothing like eating cheesecake with your fingers off a paper napkin.
I loved the combination of flavours - the pistachio and raspberry go brilliantly. The cheesecake itself was so much better than I thought it could be - light, fluffy, not grainy at all and had a wonderful delicate flavour.
Definitely a recipe to make again.
Raspberry and Pistachio Baked Cheesecake
(adapted from SoNo Baking Company Cookbook, see here)
For the base:
30g shelled pistachios
30g light brown sugar
pinch of salt
65g digestive biscuits (or graham crackers)
Before you begin, grease a 5" loose-bottom tall tin with a little butter. Get two bigs squares of tin foil and wrap the tin in them, one over the other. Melt the 40g butter either in a small pan or in the microwave the put aside. In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until fairly fine. Roughly break up the biscuits and put into the processor with the salt and sugar. Pulse until combined and well mixed. Add the butter to the bowl and stir until well coated. Tip into the tin and press down to form an even layer. Put into the fridge to chill.
For the filling:
450g cream cheese, out of fridge for 6 hours or so
150g golden caster sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
1 tsp vanilla paste
2.5 eggs, beaten *
90ml sour cream
Preheat the oven to 150C/300F. Place the chilled and wrapped tin into a roasting tray. Boil the kettle. In the bowl of your stand mixer (with the paddle attached) beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, salt, vanilla extract and vanilla paste and beat for a few minutes until smooth. Turn down to a lower speed and add the egg in three stages, beating to combine between each addition. Scrape down the sides regularly. Finally, add the sour cream and beat to combine. Pour into the prepared tin - it will come up nearly to the top. Place the tray into the oven then pour the boiling water from the kettle into the tin until it comes about 1/3 of the way up the tin. Bake for 45- 50 minutes until set but still wobbly in the middle. Take out of the oven and remove the tin to a wire rack. Place a piece of foil over the top and leave for ten minutes then run a knife around the edge of the tin. Replace the foil and leave to cool down. When totally cool remove the foil and mop up any condensation with some kitchen towel. Cover with cling film and put into the fridge overnight or for 6 hours.
*For advice on halving eggs, see my guide.
1 punnet fresh raspberries
3 tbsp apricot jam
In a food processor, pulse the pistachios until fairly fine with a mixture of smaller and larger pieces. Take the cheesecake out of the fridge, run a knife around the edge of the tin again then remove to a serving plate with strips of parchment paper around the sides. Put the jam into a small saucepan and heat until liquid. Pour through a strainer to take out any lumps. Brush the top and sides of the cheesecake with the jam. Arrange the raspberries on top. Thin down the remaining jam with 1 tbsp boiling water (more if needed) then glaze the raspberries. Finally take handfuls of the pistachios and press to the side. Clear away any excess pistachios and remove the parchment strips. Return to the fridge to set for 1 hour.