A very forgiving cheesecake, thanks to the roasted apricots which are piled on it – the perfect camouflage for any imperfections
I know that cheesecakes can be intimidating and that people try to achieve that perfect top, without any browning, cracks or sinking – why though?! Call the cheesecake police on me, but this is a more rustic version that does not require you to line your tin with foil (just make sure it does not leak) and you do not need a waterbath and you do not have to be afraid of cracks. Also, the topping on this cheesecake is so pretty that it will distract from any of the conventional flaws that one might think it has.
What is more, I love the divergence from the usual lemon flavour here, swapping it out for orange instead. The texture which the almonds in the base imparts to the overall cheesecake is also wonderfully different. This really is not a difficult bake, but like with most bakes, require some degree of patience before you can finally indulge in it, as it needs to set.
You can swap out the apricots for peaches, nectarines or plums. All of these would work great as a topping.
- 200g digestive biscuits, I use tennis biscuits
- 110g butter, melted and slightly cooled.
- 2 tsp sugar
- 85g flaked almonds, toasted
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Place the almonds (both for the topping and the base) in the oven to toast for about 7 minutes, until nice and golden. Set 15g aside for the topping.
- Grease and line the base and sides of a 24cm springform cake tin, with baking paper.
- Crush the biscuits to a fine crumb. This can be done with a food processor or by placing them in a ziploc bag and bashing them with a rolling pin.
- Tip the crushed biscuits into a bowl. Add in the 85g of the toasted almonds, sugar and melted butter.
- Mix until everything comes together and then press into the cake tin. Smooth with the base of a flat bottomed, straight-edged glass.
- Bake for 8 minutes until set, and the place in the fridge until ready.
- 1kg cream cheese, room temperature
- 200g caster sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon almond essence
- zest of 1 orange
- 100g sour cream, room temperature
- 6 large eggs, room temperature
- 70ml freshly squeezed orange juice
- Lower the oven temperature to 170 degrees celcius.
- Cream the cream cheese until smooth, about two minutes.
- Add in the sugar, orange zest, vanilla extract and almond essence and continue to cream for about a minute.
- Mix the sour cream with the orange juice and slowly pour this into the mixture, scraping down the bowl so that there are no lumps.
- Finally, add in the eggs, one at a time, until just incorporated. You do not want to overmix at this point.
- Remove the cake tin from the fridge, place it on a baking tray and pour the filling into the tin.
- Bake for about an hour, or until the sides are set and the centre is still slightly wobbly. It is ok if the cheesecake browns and cracks a bit.
- When the cheesecake is done, leave it in a switched off oven with the door slightly ajar for an hour.
- Then remove and let it come to room temperature, before setting it in the fridge to chill for at least 4 hours.
- 15g flaked almonds
- 600g fresh apricots, cut in half and the stone removed
- 1 tablespoon caster sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- On the day of serving, Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celcius.
- Place the apricots on a tray, cut side up and roast for between 15 – 20 minutes, until the apricots have softened.
- Then mix the caster sugar and water together and sprinkle over the apricots.
- Return to the oven for a further 5 minutes until the apricots look all syrupy. Set aside to cool.
- Top the cheesecake with the cooled apricots and toasted flaked almonds.
Recipe by adventureswithsugar.com