Mrs Simkins’ Mini Summer Berry Cheesecakes

Posted: June 20, 2014

These simple little un-baked cheesecakes, flavoured with lemon and vanilla, and sitting on classic biscuit bases, are perfect for a summer afternoon tea, ideally in the garden. Serve them as they are, accompanied by summer berries, or make them even more delicious with a topping of berry sauce!

Equal parts of strawberries, blueberries and raspberries make a nicely balanced sauce, but you can make it with any combination of summer berries: blackberries, tayberries, and loganberries are all good. The sauce is also good with cereal or yoghurt for breakfast, accompanied by your first Clipper brew of the day!

Serves 4 generously

Ingredients

  • 225g digestive biscuits
  • 100g butter
  • 40g Demerara sugar

Plus:

  • 250g cream cheese (full fat soft cheese)
  • 50g sieved icing sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, strained
  • Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 200ml double cream
  • You will need 4 x 7½cm greased food rings set on a greased baking tray

Method

  1. Melt the butter and demerara sugar over a gentle heat. Crush the biscuits into crumbs and combine thoroughly with the melted butter and sugar.
  2. Press the mixture into the prepared food rings, smoothing it evenly with the back of a metal spoon.
  3. Cover and leave in the fridge to chill.
  4. Whip the cream to soft peaks. Beat the cheese with the icing sugar, lemon juice and vanilla. Fold the cream into the cheese mixture.
  5. Smooth the mixture over the biscuit bases, and refrigerate for a couple of hours. Spread with the cooled berry sauce topping, cover and return to the fridge, ideally for 6-8 hours. Run a small palette knife round to unmould.

Berry Sauce

Ingredients

  • 150g mixed berries: any strawberries quartered or chopped if large
  • 40g caster sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice, strained
  • 1 level tablespoon cornflour

Method

  1. Heat the berries with the sugar and 2 tablespoons of the lemon juice for 3-4 minutes until softening, the juices are running, and the sugar has lost its grittiness.
  2. Make a smooth paste with the cornflour and remaining lemon juice in a small bowl or cup. Add 2-3 tablespoons of hot juice from the berries gradually to the paste, stirring until smooth. Stir the cornflour mixture into the berries. Cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring gently so as not to break up the fruit. Set aside to cool.

One Big Cheesecake to Slice

The mixture and topping is sufficient to one 20cm cheesecake if you prefer. Prepare the cheesecake and topping as before but use a greased 20cm round loose-bottomed cake tin, ideally spring-form, instead of the food rings. Serves 4-8.

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