If you are expecting guests and don’t want to be doing everything at the last minute, this is the perfect dessert. You can make it the day before and keep it chilled until you are ready for it. It has a lovely zing which is beautifully refreshing after a good meal. And it looks good too!
I looked at loads of cheesecake recipes and ended up taking up elements from different ones and putting them together in this recipe. I think it works well. I rarely use gelatine but if you want the cheesecake to cut perfectly you really need a setting agent. I would expect that vegetarian options would work just as well as long as you follow the instructions on how to use them.
I baked the base because I think it stays together better when you cut the cheesecake if it has been baked. It is also much easier to transfer from the tin to a plate, always a bonus! The topping does not require any baking.
150g digestive biscuits
60g butter, melted
150ml lemon juice (3 or 4 lemons)
11g sachet gelatine
75g caster sugar
350g cream cheese
zest of 3 or 4 lemons
300ml double cream
Set the oven to 180ºC. Grease and line the bottom and sides of an 8″ loose based cake tin. Crush the biscuits and pour in the melted butter. Mix to combine well. Tip into the cake tin and press down firmly and evenly. I find the back of a spoon is the best thing to use and if you oil it lightly the biscuits won’t stick to it. The more firmly it is packed the less likely it is to break up when you cut it.
Bake for 15-20 minutes but keep an eye on it as you don’t want it to start burning. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely.
For the filling, take a few tablespoons of the lemon juice and set in a bowl over a pan of simmering water. Add the gelatine powder (or follow the instructions for your setting agent) and allow it to dissolve until it is clear. Make sure it doesn’t get too hot though.
Beat together the sugar, cream cheese and lemon zest. In a separate bowl beat the cream to soft peaks. Sieve the gelatine solution into the rest of the lemon juice and combine with the cream cheese mixture. When it is properly combined add the cream and beat in quickly.
Tip the cream cheese mixture onto the biscuit base and level carefully, either with a knife or by tapping the tin on the surface – the best method will depend on how fast it is setting.
Refrigerate in the tin until you are ready to decorate or to serve. Remove it carefully from the tin and transfer to a serving plate. I decorated mine with raspberries well beforehand and the juice did not leak on to the lemon filling. You could leave it plain, put a thin layer of cream over the top, or use another fruit that goes well with lemon such as strawberries. However you serve it, it will be delicious!