Baked cheesecakes are one of Cam’s favourite things in the world, but something I bake incredibly infrequently. I’d never had cheesecake at all before I met him, and certainly not baked cheesecake. For some reason I always assumed I’d hate it, but the more I have it the more I fall in love with them. It really is the best of the cheesecake world: there’s that gorgeous flavour, but the baking of it brings a lightness to the texture that makes it far too easy to eat a giant slice of it.
The only hard part is choosing a flavour! I was baking this for his dad’s birthday so I asked cam to choose one. He narrowed it down to about 5, so I then turned to his mum for back up. Eventually we settled on apricot cheesecake.
All good cheesecakes begin with an incredible crust. I wanted a bit of a honey type flavour in the crust, so I chose butternut snap biscuits. To that I added some cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger and processed it to make the base.
For the filling I used dried apricots, which I rehydrated in an orange sugar syrup. Using dried instead of fresh eliminates all the excess water in the fruit which would impact on the baking process.
You don’t have to worry about processing the apricots into a perfectly smooth puree, as the little chunks will add some texture to your cheesecake.
Once they’re mixed up into the cheesecake mixture it’s time to add it to your base and bake.
When it’s almost done baking you’ll remove it from the oven and pour over a sour cream mixture. Then it goes back into the oven for a little longer.
It will need to cool to room temperature, then in the fridge overnight ideally.
I sprinkled some nutmeg and cinnamon over the top using a stencil to get a bit of a vague pattern happening.
The cheesecake delivered everything that is amazing about the humble baked cheesecake, with a twist in a flavour we’d never tried before. I think perhaps the best compliment was when his mum and dad said they were so full from the celebratory dinner that they would have to share a piece: his mum started on her half and “accidentally” polished the whole lot off. His dad had no qualms about having to deal with another slice solo.
If you like a little boozy hit in your cakes (we don’t) feel free to substitute the orange juice for an orange or otherwise fruity liqueur.
|Baked Apricot Cheesecake
250g (8.8oz) plain sweet biscuits
1/2 tbsp nutmeg
1/2 tbsp ginger
1 tbsp ground cinnamon
1tbsp brown sugar
125g (4.4oz) butter, melted
200g (6.5oz) dried apricots
1 tbsp brown sugar
2 tbsp irange juice
275g (9.7oz) cream cheese
1/3 cup (80g/2.3oz) caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 free range eggs
1/2 cup (125ml/4.2fl oz) thickened cream
300ml (10.6oz) sour cream
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp orange juice