Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Culinary Comforts

Seasonal and festive recipes fill all the magazines, and TV programmes, so hard to find something different to put on this blog. But with the help of a very old book of farmhouse recipes, there is one slightly different and - although the list of ingredients look a lot - this is very easy to make.
There is ample opportunity to adapt the ingredients. For cottage cheese use home-made cheese from yogurt. Instead of sour cream use creme fraiche (or even diluted soft Philly cheese).
As farmhouse recipes are normally made to feed more than a family of four, this cheesecake could be made half-size (perhaps in a flan tin) so reduce ingredients accordingly (although you may need all the pastry if you want it to come up the sides of the flan tin).
A reminder that it is worth freezing cottage cheese, as when thawed out the lumps have broken down, and all it needs is mashing up with a fork. Far easier than sieving.
Christmas Cheesecake:
8 oz (225g) shortcrust pastry
1 lb (450g) cottage cheese, sieved
1 oz (25g) ground almonds
2 egg plus 2 egg yolks
4 oz (100g) caster sugar
grated zest of 1 large lemon
5 oz (150g/ml) soured cream
2 oz (50g) sultanas
1 oz (25g) chopped candied peel
5 oz (150g/ml) soured cream
1 oz (25g) caster sugar
candied orange and lemon peel slices
Line a Swiss roll tin with thinly rolled-out pastry, and bake blind at 400C, 200F, gas 6 for 7 minutes. Remove from oven and reduce heat to 300C, 150F, gas 2.
Mix together all but the topping ingredients, and spoon into the pastry case, levelling the surface, and bake at the lower temperature for 1 hour 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, mix the soured cream and sugar (topping ingredients) together, and after the cheesecake has baked for 55 minutes, spread the topping over the surface, replacing in the oven for the final 15 minutes baking time, then turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake still in the oven for a further hour before removing and chilling. It can then be removed from the tin and decorated with halved slices of candied fruit.