Farm fresh, sun warmed apricots… let’s make cheesecake!

This blog is all about city living but recently I had the wonderful experience of farm living. While couchsurfing in Italy I stayed at two little farms both of which had apricot trees covered in soft, dark orange fruits, gently ripened and warmed by the sun so that they felt kind of like the soft part of a horse’s nose when you picked them.  Joy!

Every evening I would go to sleep genuinely excited to wake up because waking up meant throwing on a sun dress, stepping out into magnificent Italian sunshine, looking at the beauty that is Italy in summer while doing some morning stretches, and then selecting my chosen fruits off the tree. Summer fruit fresh off the tree is exceptionally inspirational!  Happily laden, I would go into the kitchen and cook away happily while the coffee gurgled it’s approval on the stove.

An exceptionally good recipe is this cheesecake. And if you cook it in the morning there is plenty of time for it to cool by dinner (I made the mistake of cooking it once after lunch – the stove on for 90minutes in the midday heat was a bad idea!)

Apricot Cheesecake

Apricot Yoghurt Cheesecake

  • 3 eggs
  • 500g smooth cottage cheese/ Philladelphia
  • heaped tablespoon of flour
  • 250 ml sugar
  • lemon juice and lemon rind from one big lemon
  • 175ml yoghurt
  • Crust: 1 pack Tennis biscuits or any plain biscuit; egg sized lump of butter

Crust: Crush the biscuits and then put in a food processor until they form fine crumbs.  Add softened butter and mix in well. Press into the bottom and up the sides of a greased spring-form dish.

Cake: Beat the three eggs together. Add the cheese and beat again. Add flour and sugar and beat well. Add lemon and yoghurt and beat.

Pour the mixture into the dish being careful not to break the crust. Bake for 90 minutes at 150C. Check with a toothpick that it is absolutely cooked before taking out the oven.

Once you remove the cake from the oven, cover with a dish towel and allow to cool slowly. This stops the cake sinking or cracking.

Once cool, place in the fridge. Beware – this is not something you bake an hour before a dinner party!

Now the exciting part – delicious fruit for the top!  I cut up apricots and put them in a pot on the stove, covered with a little water and boiled them until they made a delicious sticky goop.  A little sugar or honey takes some of the tartness away – but don’t over do it, a little tart is nice!

So you can pour some apricot sauce over your wonderful cake, put some slices of fresh fruit on too, maybe sprinkle some icing sugar too…

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