|Cheesecake topped with clementine|
Prepare a 9 inch spring form pan with a parchment paper at the bottom.
The pastry can be made by hand with your finger tips, by using two butter knives or simply in a food processor using the pulse button.
In a bowl cut together with two knives, until it resembles crumbs
1 cup flour
1/4 cup sugar
125gm/4oz salted butter
zest of one orange
Mix together in a small bowl and add to the dough
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
Knead together and leave it to rest.
Cut into 3 equal pieces. Use 2/3 to cover the base of the pan, pressing it down with your finger tips. ( It is simpler to do this with your hands over a rolling pin.)
Bake in a preheated oven of 325F/160C for 8 to 10 minutes until a slight colour shows on the pastry.
Allow it to cool.
Using the rest of the 1/3 pastry, cover the sides of the pan. Using your thumb go around the edge to make it equal in height.
In the food processor blend until smooth
500 gm/ 1.1lb Paneer ~ home made ricotta
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
3 tbsp plain all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 cup fresh lemon and/or lime juice
3 tbsp orange juice
Optionally Zest of an orange
Once it is smooth pour into the prepared shell.
Place in a hot oven of 400F/200C and immediately reduce the heat to 275F/140C. Allow it to set for 40 minutes.Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool for an hour until it sets.Chill and serve.
The cake must jiggle in the center. It will then set as it cools and that softness is what the creaminess depends upon that tastes delicious.
Clementines work best for this cake. The skin is softer and less bitter. The juice of it is tangy and flavourful.
When ready to serve, evenly slice 2 clementines and grill them on a hot skillet for 2 minutes. Turning once. Top the cooled cake with the slices. The juices of the fruit will enhance the flavours of this cake.The texture of this cheese cake is dependent on two things. The smoothness of the filling. So make sure its silky and not at all grainy. This in turn is dependent on the cottage cheese you are using. For best results use freshly made paneer while its warm or bring it to room temperature before use.
Secondly the baking. Over baking makes the texture grainy. Allowing it to set on a lower temperature slowly ensures that the mixture does not curdle, or get too hot at any point. The "Jiggle in the Middle" is crucial when you finish.
The cheese cake is delicious on its own but a mixed berry compote makes it look prettier and tastes even better. Lemon curd topping for the lemon lover, and dark cherries topped all over can be absolutely amazing. Passion fruit curd is my very favourite. It is a strong taste and start with mixing lemon and passion fruit to avoid the pungent flavour which may be not to everyone's delight.
Place the spring-form pan on a tray to avoid having to clean up any "drip" from the pan.
My published cookbooks are available for sale through myself and on amazon.
The World of Parsi Cooking: Food Across Borders is a 3 award winning book. It has been self published in July 2019 and will be going into its second print in 2022.
The Art of Parsi Cooking; reviving an ancient cuisine was published in 2016 by Austin Macauley and continues to be available through amazon book depot book depository and from the publishers.
Photo courtesy William Reavell