Are you a fan of strawberries? We were given a dozen or so plants a few years ago and ever since, we’ve been carefully minding our strawberry patch. As a result, we’ve been picking ripe berries in the polytunnel for the past month or so, enjoying the deliciously sweet berries on our breakfast cereal. Following some sunshine and rain the berries outside are finally ripening and it’s a race between us and the slugs.
Strawberries are so easy to grow in the ground or in containers. If, like us, you’re a fan of this sweet, summer fruit it’s madness not to give them a go.
Once you begin to harvest strawberries, apart from eating them au natural, it can be a treat to try out a few naughty but nice recipes. The following strawberry cheesecake recipe ricochets to the top of the naughty scale but is very easy to make and a perfect, in season desert to impress friends or family.
If you’d like to find out more about growing strawberries, you might find this archive post helpful.
Strawberry Cheesecake Recipe
225g (8oz) digestive biscuits
110g (4oz) unsalted butter, melted
3 leaves gelatine
150ml (5 fl oz) single cream
300g (10½ oz) cream cheese
125g (4½ oz) caster sugar
Finely grated zest and juice of 2 limes (or lemons, or one of each)
300g (10½ oz) ripe strawberries, hulled & chopped (or roughly whizzed in food processor)
150 ml (5 fl oz) whipped cream
1 egg white
1. Crush the biscuits finely (a food processor’s great for this) and stir in the melted butter. Mix together so the crumbs are soaked in butter then press into a loose-bottomed flan tin. (I made the mistake of putting mine into a pretty, china flan dish once and it stuck solid, despite greasing it well with butter).
2. Pour some cold water into a dish and place the gelatine leaves into it, submerging them completely. Leave them to soak and soften for 5 minutes or so.
3. Bring the single cream to the boil and remove from the heat. Squeeze the water out of the gelatine and add one by one to the warm cream. They dissolve straight away. Leave to cool while you’re preparing the topping.
4. Put the cream cheese into a bowl with the sugar, half the lime (or lemon) zest and all the juice. Beat together until smooth and creamy.
5. Mix in the cream and gelatine mixture and then the chopped strawberries, then fold in the whipped cream.
6. Whisk the egg white in a scrupulously clean bowl until it forms stiff peaks (you should be able to hold the bowl above your head without getting covered). Fold the egg white into the cheesecake mixture.
7. Pour the mixture into the tart tin and smooth down. Chill until set and decorate with the remaining zest and extra strawberries if you have them.
Tip: It’s worth buying good quality ingredients and don’t be tempted to swap the cheese or cream for low-fat versions. Every time I’ve tried to make this and cut corners, the cheesecake has failed to set. This strawberry cheesecake recipe needs to be a full on calorific, once in a while treat, with every mouthful slowly savoured.
Are you growing your own strawberries yet? How do you like to eat them?