Contrary to me, my brother is not a dessert kinda guy. So when I was recently invited for a delicious barbecue, I knew that dessert would not be part of the menu so I brought the solution myself! And my brother absolutely loved and didn’t object at all to keeping the left-overs! I found this recipe in a recent issue of Olive magazine that I got as part of my birthday present from a friend.
The original recipe by John Torode is made with blackberries but I went for blueberries instead. You can of course opt for a mix of fruit or other fruits such as strawberries instead. This recipe is really easy to make, it just takes a bit more time than throwing everything together, but beating some biscuits to crumbs while pretending it’s that annoying colleague can’t really be called “work” now can it…
First, make the base by crushing 200 g digestive biscuits (I used petit beurres). Stir in 50 g ground hazelnuts (I used almonds instead) and 125 g melted butter. Line the base of a 23 cm spring tin with the biscuit mix and pack it well with the back of a spoon or just use your hands. Butter the sides and chill in the fridge for half an hour while you make the filling.
Heat the oven to 140 C. Whisk 90 g caster sugar with 300 g soft cheese (I used “Campina De Brabander”). Separate 2 eggs and slowly add the egg yolks one at the time to the cheese mix while whisking all the time until combined. Whisk in 300 g soured cream. If you don’t have sour cream, you can substitute for more soft cheese, but be sure to add the juice of half a lemon as well in that case. I didn’t have enough sour cream so I used 200 g soured cream, 400 g soft cheese and a squeeze of lemon juice instead.
In a clean bowl, whisk the two egg whites with a pinch of salt until stiff (you need to be able to turn the bowl upside down and keep it over your head, and this is not a joke! If you can’t do that, keep beating!). Add 85 g caster sugar a spoonful of the time, whisking between each addition until stiff and glossy. Mix the meringue into the soft cheese mix, you can be quite vigorous so don’t worry about knocking the air out.
Pour a good layer of the cheese mix on the biscuit base and drop in a few blueberries (you need 200 g blueberries in total, save half for the crumble). Repeat the process until all the mix and 100 g of the blueberries have been used. Cook in the oven for 20 min.
In the meantime, make the crumble topping by whizzing 100 g plain flour in a food processor with a pinch of salt and 50 g chilled butter until it resembles breadcrumbs. Toss with 50 g sugar and the remaining 100 g blueberries. After 20 min, gently take the cheesecake half out of the oven and scatter the crumble mix on top. Return to the oven and bake for another 40 min. If it’s still too wobbly for your liking, leave to cool the cheesecake in the oven, otherwise take it out and leave to cool completely in the tin before serving (don’t worry if it cracks, the crumble will mask it). Enjoy!