Baked Vanilla Cheesecake

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Serves

    8 to 12

Appears in

This cheesecake recipe is an old-fashioned one, baked in a shortcrust rather than on a biscuit crumb base. I learned it from Mary Ann, who was a Peace Corps Volunteer in Nigeria when I was a VSO there. It appeared on many party tables whenever we could find and afford the dairy products.

Ingredients

  • 300 g (10 oz) sweet shortcrust pastry
  • 250 g (½ lb) cream cheese or soft fresh cheese
  • 150 g (5 oz) unrefined granulated or caster sugar
  • 4 medium-size free-range eggs
  • 2 tablespoons plain flour
  • 1 ½ teaspoons pure vanilla essence
  • juice of half a lemon
  • 300 mls (½ pint) single cream
  • 300 mls (½ pint) milk

Method

Roll out the pastry, and use it to line a cake tin, baking dish, flan ring or other suitable container capable of holding a volume of about a litre (32 oz..

Place the container on a baking sheet, as this will conduct heat right through the pastry, which holds a rather dense mixture.

To make the filling, first cream the cheese and sugar, beat in the eggs and flour, and then the remaining ingredients. Pour into the pastry case, and bake in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/gas mark 4 for 45 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes, depending on the depth of the filling. Keep the top nice and pale, covering loosely with foil if it shows signs of browning.

Remove from the oven when a skewer inserted in the middle of the cake emerges clean. Allow the cheesecake to cool completely before slicing.

For extra flavour and texture, you can add 50 g (2 oz) ground almonds to the pastry, replacing an equal quantity of flour, and add some ground spice, such as cardamom, or some finely grated lemon zest.

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