A rare recipe post from Bacchanalian, as my wife takes over to share how she made this Pimm’s cheesecake, which we enjoyed while watching Federer and Djokovic duke it out in the Wimbledon Final.
I often watch the sped-up videos of unhealthy looking treats but haven’t made one until now, preferring to stick to recipe books and the BBC food web archive.
However, a request from my brother for a 30th birthday cheesecake, and a fairly recent and traumatic memory of a red velvet cake gone very wrong at my Grandad’s 90th earlier this year, meant I did a trial run of this cake, from Tastemade.
I wasn’t keen in the first instance, generally preferring to avoid recipes with too much gelatine, but having had one too many melty cheesecake disasters, I pretty much stuck to the recipe here, making just a couple of tweaks.
For the base
- 185 g digestive biscuits
- 90 g butter melted
- 500 g Full Fat Cream Cheese
- 100 g Mascarpone
- 100 g icing sugar
- 100 ml double cream
- 75 ml boiling water
- 6 leaves gelatine
- 1 Orange finely grated zest
- 1 Lemon finely grated zest
For the Jelly
- 75 g Sugar
- 175 ml Water
- 1/2 Lemon Unwaxed, peeled and juiced
- 50 ml
- 25 ml Gin
- 3 leaves Gelatine
- 75 g Fresh Strawberries Finely sliced
- 5 Mint Leaves
- 1 tsp Citric acid
- For the base - Line the base of a 20cm spring-form tin, at least 7cm deep, with baking paper and set aside.
- Blitz the digestives in a food processor (or with a rolling pin), then add the melted butter until a crumb forms. Try not to taste-test too much at this stage… Tip the mixture into the prepared tin and press down with a spoon until you have an even layer. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- For the filling - Cover the 6 gelatine leaves with cold water and leave to soak for 5 minutes.
- Beat the cream cheese, mascarpone and icing sugar together until smooth. Try not to eat too much at this stage... Add the orange and lemon zests and double cream and beat again until slightly thickened but still pourable (note: this doesn’t take long, careful not to overwhip).
- Put the boiling water into a small bowl and add the soaked gelatine. Stir until it has dissolved and there are no lumps. Add to the cheesecake mix and beat a final time. Pour onto the base and carefully smooth with a palette knife. Return to the fridge while you make the jelly.
- Now for the Pimm’s! Cover the other 3 gelatine leaves with cold water and leave to soak for 5 minutes.
- Bring the sugar and water to the boil. Once boiling, add the lemon juice and peel, remove from the heat and pour the contents of the pan into a bowl and place into the fridge until cold (or freezer if you are impatient).
- Once chilled, remove the lemon peel and add the Pimm’s and gin. Pour ¼ of the Pimm’s mixture into a pan and reheat gently over a low-medium heat. Dissolve the soaked gelatine sheets in the liquid and once dissolved, pour back into the bowl containing the rest of the chilled Pimm's mixture and finally add the citric acid (or if yours is industrial strength too, don’t bother).
- Arrange the sliced strawberries and a few mint leaves over the top of the cheesecake in a circular pattern, then carefully pour ½ of the jelly over the cheesecake and leave to set for 2 hours.
- Remove the cheesecake from the fridge and pour over the remaining jelly then leave to set to a further 2 hours or until the jelly is completely set. You must pour the jelly in 2 layers or you risk ruining the strawberry pattern you’ve just made (note: I followed the instructions but to be honest, think you could have done it in one go without any adverse effects).
- When ready to set, use a blow torch to heat the outside of the cake tin, then remove the tin and transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate. Like many people, I’ve had a blow torch for years but have never bought the fuel for it. I just ran a palette knife round the edge to loosen, and when it created a bit of cheesecake-jelly mess, snipped off the edges with scissors to clean it up. Unorthodox yes, but still effective.
It’s a beautiful cheesecake and very impressive to look at. It definitely tastes of Pimm’s and the orange comes through beautifully.
Would I prefer it without gelatine in the main cheesecake? Yes, but the texture here is light and moussy and for peace of mind, the gelatine is a sacrifice worth making.