Wednesday 2 September 2020

Apricot Cheesecake


Pockets of apricot puree, waiting to be discovered within a delicious vanilla and citrus cream filling. I find this is best left for 24 hours after ithas been made and before you serve it -if you can! -  the texture becomes creamier over that time.

Ingredients: 600g cream cheese; 1 cup + 1/3 cup sugar; 100g dried apricots; 7 medium eggs, separated; juice and grated zest of 1/2 lemon; 1 tsp vanilla extract; 1 cup cream; 9" crust, made from 8 digestive biscuits and 50g butter, melted.


1. Heat oven to 180 degrees C. Blitz the biscuits along with the melted butter, in the food processor. Grease and line the base and sides of a 9" spring-clip pan (I find this cheesecake can be tricky to unmould,hence the advice to line the sides as well as the base of the pan). Press the biscuit mixture into the base of the tin, and bake for ten minutes. Allow to cool. 

Lower the oven temperature to 150 degrees C.

2. If the apricots you have are not soft, simmer them for ten minutes in 1/2 cup water to soften them. if already soft, omit this step. Add 1/3 cup sugar, and liquidise (add a little water if the puree seems too thick)

3. Beat the egg whites until stiff.

4. in a separate bowl, beat the cheese with the sugar, then add to it the lemon zest and juice, and the vanilla. Beat, to mix thoroughly, and then fold into this mixture the beaten egg white.

5. Pour a third of this mixture onto the biscuit base, and then dot half of the apricot puree over the top, in spoonfuls. repeat this process, and finish with a layer of cheesecake mixture. 

6. Bake for forty minutes, and then leave in the cooling oven for an hour with the heat off. Allow to cool thoroughly before you remove the cheesecake from the tin.

Monday 31 August 2020

Timbale of Tarragon and Zucchini


Light, delicious, quick, and easy. For a dinner-party, or to snack on, from the fridge...

Serves Six.

Ingredients: 4tbs chopped parsley; 1 medium onion,chopped; 6 tbs olive oil; 500g zucchini (courgette), chopped, but not peeled; 3 medium eggs; 150ml cream;1 tbs grated parmesan; 2 tbs dried tarragon; 50g fresh white breadcrumbs; 1 tbs white wine vinegar; 1 tsp dijon mustard; salt and pepper. 


1. Heat the oven to 180 degrees C. Grease a 1 litre loaf pan, and line the base and short sides with a long strip of baking foil, for ease of removal of the finished timbale. Use 2 of the tbs of parsley to stick to the greased sides of the loaf tin.

2. In half of the oil, cook the onion and zucchini until tender, with half of the dried tarragon and a further tbs of parsley; in a covered pan, over low heat, this should take ten minutes or so. Allow the softened vegetables to cool a little, once done.

3. Process in a processor the cooled vegetables, eggs, breadcrumbs, parmesan, and cream. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

4. Transfer the mixture to the prepared loaf tin, place in a bain marie, and bake for fifty minutes. Once cooked, allow to cool completely, and then refrigerate.

5. Make a dressing, using the remaining oil and tarragon, along with the vinegar and mustard; add salt to taste.

Slice the un-moulded timbale, and plate, before dressing with the tarragon dressing, and garnish with the remaining parsley.