I spend a great deal of time baking but just recently, watching The Great British Bake Off has sent me into overdrive and got me making things that I wouldn’t normally bother with such as a pork pie and an iced finger. Himself has even begun judging my efforts.
To be as self sufficient as possible is my aim and if I can make it or grow it, I generally do. When I spotted the October Challenge on the Pink Whisk I was actually looking at the recipe for Vanilla Custard Slices and sadly mine didn’t turn out half as good as the ones pictured there. However, the Apple Challenge got me thinking as we have a few varieties growing in the fruit garden, one of which is the Scotch Dumpling. They wouldn’t win any prizes in a beauty contest but they make excellent cooking apples, so I was keen to come up with an entry.
My mind was churning with ideas but I had to think of something that I could create completely from scratch so I settled on a cheesecake. The first thing I had to do was make the cheese, hence the title.
I milked the goat and left the milk to form curds overnight on the rack above the Rayburn after adding a starter and rennet. Next day I drained off the whey (saved for breadmaking) and had my soft cheese ready to go. Now I needed cream, so once again I milked the goat and ran it through the separator. I was left with a gorgeous silky cream and skimmed milk.
The third stage was baking the gingernuts for the base, the fourth fighting my way through the nettles in the fruit garden to gather the windfall apples. Lastly there were the free range eggs to be collected from our hens.
With everything assembled I was ready to go and so here is the recipe for Baked Cheesecake with Apple Jelly topping.
For the base
- Approx 12 gingernuts (recipe below)
- 50g butter
For the cheesecake
- 500g cream cheese
- 200ml cream
- 2 tbls flour
- 175g caster sugar
- 1 tsp Vanilla extract
- 2 eggs plus 1 egg yolk
For the topping
- 6 apples peeled and cored
- 75g brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 2 sheets leaf gelatine
- 1 tbls demerara sugar
You will need a springform cake tin.
Base (If baking your own biscuits (see recipe below) this should be done first and they should be left to go cold and harden)
- For the base melt the butter and crush the gingernuts with a rolling pin. Mix the two together and spread out on the base of a springform cake tin.
- Bake in the oven for about 5 minutes then remove and leave to cool.
- Heat oven to 160 degrees C.
- Put all of the ingredients into a bowl and whisk until everything is well combined, smooth and creamy.
- Pour the mixture onto the biscuit base and place in the oven for around 40 minutes. When it is ready it should be firm to the touch in the centre but still with a bit of wobble.
- Remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- First soak two sheets of gelatine in water until pliable.
- Place the apples, sugar and cinnamon in a saucepan and heat gently until the sugar has dissolved and the apples have softened and broken up, but leaving some chunky bits.
- Take the gelatine out of the water and squeeze out the excess liquid. Add to the pan with the apple mixture and stir until it has completely disappeared.
- Leave to cool slightly.
- Spoon onto the cheesecake and spread evenly over the top. Sprinkle with the demerara sugar and leave to set.
- Run a pallet knife around the inside of the tin and then carefully release the clip.
- 110g self raising flour
- 50g margarine
- 75g caster sugar
- 1 tsp ground ginger
- 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda
- 1 tbls agave nectar (or golden syrup)
- Drop of milk
- Heat the oven to 180 degrees C.
- Put all the ingredients into a food processor and whiz until it resembles breadcrumbs.
- Add a few drops of milk until a dough is formed.
- Roll into small balls (approx 12).
- Place the balls well spaced on a baking sheet and flatten slightly
- Bake for 10 – 15 minutes or until the biscuits have spread, the tops have cracked and they are golden brown.
- Place on a cooling rack until completely cold.