Mrs Simkins’ Simple Lemon Cheesecake
We celebrated the 2012 Olympics with a yummy cheesecake and a pot of your favourite Clipper tea. Versions of cheesecake can be found in most nations across the world but apparently, it all began in Ancient Greece – as well as instigating the Olympic Games, the Ancient Greeks are also credited with inventing cheesecake. Historians believe cheesecake may well have been served to the athletes at the very first Games held in Olympia in 776 BC.
Early cheesecake had a lot in common with our own British curd tarts and was made from fresh curds sweetened with honey. Once the Romans conquered Greece, cheesecake spread to Italy and then throughout Europe and centuries later over to America.
Simple Un-baked Lemon Cheesecake
Here’s a light and lemony unbaked cheesecake. It’s easy to put together, the lemon juice gives a beautiful flavour and contributes to the setting process. This version has a slightly thicker biscuit base than usual to balance the delicate richness of the topping.
- 225g (8oz) digestive biscuits
- 110g (4oz) butter
- 40g (1½oz) Demerara sugar
- 200g full fat soft cheese
- 150g Greek yogurt
- 110g (4oz) icing sugar
- Zest of 1 and juice of 2 lemons
- 150ml double cream
You will need a greased 20cm (8 inch) round loose-bottomed cake tin, ideally spring-form
Melt the butter and Demerara sugar over a gentle heat. Crush the biscuits into crumbs and combine thoroughly with the melted butter and sugar.
Press the mixture into the prepared tin, smoothing it evenly with the back of a metal spoon.
Leave in the fridge to chill.
Meanwhile, mix the soft cheese and yogurt together in a bowl and stir in the icing sugar, pushing it through a sieve to eliminate any clumps.
Whisk together: an electric hand whisk is the ideal tool.
Stir in the lemon juice and zest.
Add the cream and whisk until the mixture will form soft peaks.
Smooth over the biscuit base and leave in the fridge to set: keep covered to avoid contamination by any strongly flavoured foods.
The lemon zest won’t be cooked or processed further so be sure to zest in brisk up and down movements to avoid long strands in the finished cake: you may like to run a sharp knife over the zest on a board as well.
It’s worth spending some time pressing down the biscuit base, smoothing and compacting it firmly: it helps if the spoon is wet.
This freezes beautifully for up to a month.