Cheesecake w. Strawberry & Basil Jam.

Unbelievably crazy rain and winds this weekend saw us cooped up indoors and in need of an occupation. Alfie went into hibernation mode and slept for three days and I decided to make some Jam. Luckily I had stumbled upon a brilliant baking book ‘The Violet Bakery Cookbook‘ by Claire Ptak the weekend before and the weather gave me a perfect excuse to make something from it. Claire has a strawberry jam recipe in the book that is infused with lemon verbena. I made a batch of it and it was so yummy I decided to experiment and make a batch with basil, since I love the combination of strawberry and basil. If you haven’t tried it, it’s a must. And the book is a brilliant addition to any baking library.
 
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Strawberry & Basil Jam
Enough to fill two jam jars
 
• 500g Strawberries
• 450g sugar
• 20 basil leaves
• 3 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
 
Wash and hull the strawberries. Take 100g aside and cut into quarters.
Place quartered strawberries and 100g sugar in a heavy-bottomed pot. Warm over medium heat, crushing the strawberries with a potato masher while they warm through.
While the strawberries are warming put 200g of sugar in a food processor along with the basil leaves and pulse to break up the basil.
Heat the oven to 120°C. Place basil sugar on a roasting tray lined with parchment paper and warm through in the oven.
While the sugar warms in the oven add the remaining whole strawberries to the mashed strawberries in the pot. Bring to a simmer and add the sugar from the oven to the strawberries in the pot. Stir until the sugar dissolves, then add the lemon juice. Turn up the heat and boil for 12 minutes.
Spoon the jam into warm sterilised jars.
This jam can be stored in the fridge for up to a month.
 

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I decided to use my jam to adorn the top of an American style cheesecake. Since it is Shavuot this week I think my timing for cheesecake was pretty apt. If you want cheesecake but don’t want to make jam you could really use any good quality store-bought jam to sweeten the top of your cheesecake or simply top with seasonal fruit. If you do have the energy though, the home made jam is just magical, plus there will be enough jam leftover for the rest of the month, win!

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American Style Cheesecake
Adapted from Mary Berry’s Baking Bible
 
For the Base
• 175g digestive biscuits
• 75g butter
• 40g demerara sugar
 
For the filling
• 225g cream cheese
• 25g caster sugar
• 150ml double cream
• 150ml greek yoghurt
• juice of 1 1/2 lemons
 
Line an 8″ springform cake tin with baking paper.
Blitz digestive biscuits in a food processor OR put the biscuits in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin, to a fine crumb.
Melt the butter in a medium sized pan. Remove from the heat and mix in digestive crumbs and sugar.
Press the crumb mixture firmly into the cake tin covering the base and up the sides to form the crust.
Leave to set in the fridge for 30 minutes or more.
 
Mix cheese and sugar together in a large bowl (or food processor) until blended thoroughly.
Add the cream and yoghurt and mix well. Gradually add in the lemon juice, whisking continuously.
Pour the cheese mixture into the cake tin on top of the biscuit crust and smooth top. Chill in the fridge overnight to set.
 
Pour a thin layer of jam over the top of the cake and enjoy!

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xxBlighStBistro

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