Not content with wading into the murky waters of recipe ownership, I have now trumped myself by making a cheesecake that looks just like a bought one. Not a posh bought one, mind you, but the sort that comes from a supermarket freezer cabinet.
I didn't mean to pay homage to Sara Lee or Crofters, it just happened. And the fact that it happened when we had some very discerning guests for dinner made it all the more amusing. At least, they were laughing with me, not at me. Weren't they?
Sara Lee Cheesecake
The really funny thing is that on the Sara Lee website they have a recipe for 'making' a cheesecake, which involves taking one out of its box and spreading jam on top. This is slightly more complicated than that, but I think you'll find it's worth the trouble. If you are going to top it with jam, use the poshest, fruitiest sort you can find. I used 'Blackbird Valley Blueberry Jam' from Moutere Gold, which is too nice to have on toast. Quince jelly would be great too.
150g digestive biscuits or similar
450g cream cheese (not 'light', please), at room temperature
100g caster sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 tsp almond essence
Posh jam or lemon curd or fresh berries
Line a springform tin with clingfilm - I used a 24cm tin but a smaller one will be fine.
Melt the butter in a medium-sized pot and let almost brown. Pulverise the biscuits to crumbs in the food processor and add to the butter. Mix well and press into the prepared tin. Stick in the freezer while you prepare the filling.
Put the cream cheese, sugar and essences in the processor (don't worry about stray crumbs) and blitz until mixed. Whip the cream until it just reaches the soft peak stage. Fold in the cream cheese.
Pour the mixture onto the base and smooth the top. Spread with the posh jam, curd or sprinkle with fresh berries. Cover and stick in the fridge for at least two hours. Unveil to a rapturous, if amused, reception.
Have a sweet, sweet Friday everyone. I'm supposedly running a half-marathon tomorrow, argh!