Not quite Basque, not quite American, the cheesecake Mike will be making for this week’s demo is in a category all its own. The original recipe calls for currants but you could use chocolate chips if that’s more your style, or neither if you just prefer to enjoy the creamy texture all on its own.
This recipe is adapted from Maida Hatter’s New Book of Great Desserts.
Digestive Biscuit Crust
2 c Digestive biscuit crumbs (about 13 biscuits)
3 Tbsps Sugar
2 tsp Cinnamon
1 stick Unsalted butter, melted
24 oz Cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 c Sugar
1/4 tsp Salt
2 ea Eggs
1 stick Unsalted butter
1 tsp Vanilla
3/4 c currants or chocolate chips
Make the Crust
Mix the Digestive crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon in a mixing bowl. Stir in the butter.
Pour the crumb mixture into a 10-in pie plate, springform pan, or baking dish. Mike has made this recipe in both round and square shapes with great success. Using fingertips or a rubber spatula, distribute the crumbs into your baking dish of choice. Make sure the crumb mixture goes up the sides, too. Press firmly.
Put prepared crust in fridge while preparing the filling.
Prepare the Filling
Pre-heat oven to 325°F.
Place currants in a small bowl and cover with boiling water to soften and plump.
Using an electric stand, or hand mixer, beat the butter and cream cheese until soft and smooth, about 1 minute. Gradually beat in the sugar. Scape the bowl occasionally during this process. You want the mixture to be very smooth. Add in the salt, then the eggs one at a time, then the vanilla. The batter should be well mixed, but not overbeaten.
Strain the water from the currants. Fold the currants into the batter. Or chocolate chips if using.
Pour the filling into the prepared crust and smooth with a spatula.
Bake 40 minutes. Baking time will vary depending on vessel. The cheesecake should be slightly jiggly, so be careful not to overcook. Take out of the oven and let sit.
Set the oven to broil. Once up to temperature, put the cheesecake back in the oven and watch it closely. You want it to brown on the top but not burn. Remove from oven.
Let cool in pan for 30 minutes, then chill lightly covered, in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours.
When read to serve, if using a springform pan, use a spatula or knife to separate the crust from the pan and remove the collar.
Serve with whipped cream and berries.