I love those deserts that are created from the reminiscence of the back of the fridge. Fruit that has been long forgotten or given. Cheese hidden as though treasure.
Food based media personalities have been claiming loud and clear that it is when you have mastered the basics of cookery that you will be able to create a meal from anything. I mostly believe this, a creative cook can instinctively use up ingredients in cleaver ways, but you do still need your base pantry items to do that. For me, that looks like, olive oil, eggs, zucchini, frozen peas, chickpeas, nuts and seeds and some form of gluten free flour or meal (if not a few different types).
It was in a moment of clean out, use up and create, that I found myself with cream cheese, a small amount of sour create and more eggs than a family could use in 1 week and the Passion fruit. Beautiful, fragrant passionfruit.
My neighbour has the most spectacular passionfruit vine trailing and rambling along her front fence. The passionfruit are the largest and heaviest I have ever seen. My eyes must have been dazzled as I came home with an armful.
The pulp of the golden gems did not disappoint and did that stunning vine justice, sweet tart and thick with juice and seed.
And so, armed with all the necessaries a cheesecake was created. A Passionfruit Cheesecake.
A perfectly cooked cheesecake feels like velvet, smooth and full and yet simple and light. And when a cake doesn’t even last 24 hours you know you have put those disheveled and forgotten ingredients to good use.
Baked Passionfruit Cheese cake
1 cup Almond meal
3/4 Cup Gluten free plain flour
1/2 cup caster sugar
50gm Softened butter
2 250g cream cheese
1 cup caster sugar
200g sour cream
zest 1 lemon
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup Caster Sugar
Passionfruit pulp of 1 or 2 large passionfruit
Preheat oven to 170C Fan forced. Line base and sides of a 23cm springform cake tin.
Base: In the bowl of a food processor combine the Almond meal, gluten free flour and sugar, whiz to combine.
Add the egg and butter and pulse until the mix has come together.
Press the mix into the base of the cake tin until evenly covered.
Chill for 15 minutes.
Once chilled, bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes or until the base is golden. Remove and cool.
Cheesecake: Preheat oven to 140C fan forced
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the beater paddle attached combine the cream cheese and sugar on medium low speed, scraping the sides occasionally until light, fluffy and well combined.
Add the eggs 1 at a time, mixing well in between additions.
With the mixer on low add the zest and vanilla extract.
Add the sour cream and mix until thoroughly combined, light and smooth.
Pour onto the base and lightly wiggle to smooth the top.
Place in the oven in the middle rack.
Bake for 1 hour or until the cheesecake is slightly golden around the edges, slightly puffed and is set around the edges with a very slight wobble in the middle.
Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake to cool with the door held ajar with a tea towel.
Once at room temperature, place in the fridge in the the cake tin to chill completely preferably overnight.
Before starting the topping, remove the cheesecake from the fridge.
Stain the Passionfruit pulp through a fine sieve. Reserve a few seed for decoration.
Place all the sugar and strained pulp into a non stick frying pan over medium heat.
Bring the sugar mix to the boil and allow to reduce by 1/3 and thickened for 5 – 7 mins. Stir through the reserved passionfruit seeds.
Allow to cool for 5 minutes then pour over the cheesecake until the top is evenly coated.
Place back into the fridge for 5 – 10 minutes to set a little. Serve with cream or yoghurt.
If your cheesecake cracks, it’s a sign of either, too hot a cooking temperature or over cooking.Just reduce the temperature by 10C next time.
For a plain cheesecake simply leave off the topping.
The cheesecake is best made a day ahead. A slow cool to room temperature is important to reduce a cracking in the cheesecake. Once at room temp chill quickly in the fridge.
Never cover the cheesecake directly, use a prop to hold the clingwrap off the surface. The wrap has a devious way of clinging to the surface making it impossible to remove without taking half the cake with it.
If fresh Passionfruit is hard to source, simply, strain and reduce a small can of passionfruit syrup.