Exams. They give me an overwhelming opportunity to procrastinate in many different ways, and what better than to bake? As well as helpful friends posting lots of potentially delicious recipes that should be tried out – if I had the time, and didn’t have to study – it’s three days until the next exam so why not. Baking time.
This one is pretty easy to do, tastes delicious and feeds a party after a sunday afternoon bbq – which the weather will hopefully allow for from now on. April has been a bit mad so far weather-wise , so we’re hoping the sun is here to stay. Apparently this is meant to be made with key limes, but it’s pretty much impossible to get them anywhere but Florida, so the generic supermarket limes will have to do! Jamie Oliver calls it his NY Cheesecake, but I do wonder about the name.. NY have a lot of cheesecakes.
What do you need?
350g Digestive biscuits
900g Cream cheese, softened (can use light or low-fat, but NOT fat-free)
150g Caster sugar
5 large eggs
150g Caster Sugar
3 large egg whites
40g desiccated coconut
zest of 2 lime (one of the ones used for the juice!) finely grated
125ml Fresh Lime juice (5-6 limes)
Get a springform tin, one of the big ones, usually 23/24cm wide and lines with greaseprrof paper, or if you’re super cool like me get one that has a pyrex glass base and you can serve straight off it! Feel free to lightly butter or oil the side of the tin.
Grab the digestive biscuits, graham biscuits if you’re in the U.S. [Funny story that one, the american advertising and standards agency (or equivilant thereof) wouldn’t allow Digestives, a UK brand, to advertise themselves
as that in the U.S. because the biscuit has to quality that aids digestion – and it suggests that it may do so. But digestives were so similar to an existing cookie called Graham Crackers that the UK company decided to market them as Graham Crackers, even though they are slightly softer and sweeter!]
Anyway, grab those graham crackers/digestives and blitz them in the food processor, or if you’re a bit miffed with someone, pop em in a ziplock bag and smash ’em to pieces with a rolling pin – somewhat cathartic. Melt the butter and add to the now crumbly digestives. Pour it all into the springform tin and with a small spoon squish and smooth it down until it’s a nice uniform layer of crumbled-cookie-nomnom.
Whack 900g (three large philadelphia tubs) into the food processor and whizz it. Add the caster sugar slowly, spoon by spoon and continue whizzing, then add each egg one at a time until smooth. Finally pour in the juice of the 6 limes and have a final spin. It’ll be really liquidy and you’ll wonder how this could ever be a nice firm cheesecake – but it will! Just you wait.
Pour all that goodness over the biscuit base in the springform tin and pop it into a preheated oven (160 degrees celcius). Bake for roughly 50 minutes, until there is a slight golden brown hew at the top. Don’t undercook cheesecake – undercooked eggs are not nice, and even a hint of the raw-eggy taste can ruin the om noms. When it is that nice deep yellow with a little bit of brown take it out and let it cool! You could even pop it in the fridge overnight and do the topping on the day of your part-ay.
Meanwhile whisk the egg whites until stiff, with peaks, and then fold in the sugar, until it becomes a glorious shiny sweet sticky cloud. Fold in the desiccated coconut, om nom nom.
Spoon all this over the now cool cheescake base, making sure to leave nice little peaks or swirls (or whatever shape you want) in the meringue topping. Bake for 5-8 minutes until the peaks of the meringue are browning.
Cool, slice and serve.