This weekend I attended a wedding in a gorgeous little country town, Yungaburra. The wedding was at the groom’s parent’s house, which is a quintessential country Queenslander with views of green rolling hills.
It’s also our regional food bowl, and I was pretty excited when I found a heavily-laden cumquat tree in fully fruited glory. I wet myself with excitement when the Groom’s dad said that they don’t use them, and I should take as many as I want. So I practically picked off the whole tree.
To celebrate a friend’s Australian permanent residency I’ve made a lemon cheesecake. It’s a bit of a challenge to bake anything at the moment because our oven is busted and needs a nice electrician man to fix it. So, a no-bake lemon cheesecake it is. Oh, and I’ve got no biscuits, and my bra’s already off, so I’m not going out for biscuits. So I need to invent a new base too. Luckily for me, I found inspiration all over the place.
No Biscuit Base
I was very pleased to find Jordans Muesli had a cheesecake recipe on their site. Since I can’t get their muesli in Australia, I just used what I had in the cupboard, but borrowed their proportions. Thanks Jordans!
- 150g muesli
- 100g butter, melted
- 25g brown sugar
- I blitzed up the muesli in the food processor until it was almost powdery, still had some chunky bits, and added the brown sugar and butter.
- Press it into the tin just like you normally would with any cheesebase base.
- Pop him into the fridge to get super firm.
Lemon No Bake Filling
I did loads of research into this bit, because I was really determined to have a gelatine-free cheesecake. My previous attempts at using gelatine in cheesecakes have been a disaster, with gluggy gelatine all thru the mix. I’ve become really scared of using it!
I found a couple of recipes that seemed very confident of the mixture thickening appropriately, but alas in their reviews loads of people also had trouble thickening. This recipe from Exclusively Food even had great photos along the method. So, it was gelatine time. In the end, the recipe I used was most similar to the Lemon Icebox Cheesecake from tastebook.
- 250g cream cheese
- 395g (1 can) sweetened condensed milk
- ½ cup lemon juice
- Rind of 1 lemon
- 2½ tsp powdered gelatine
Lemon Filling Method
- Using my KitchenAid food mixer, I mixed the cream cheese until it was light and creamy. The same texture as if I was making cream cheese frosting. This took a fair while.
- Add the lemon rind, mix mix mix.
- Gradually add the sweetened condensed milk. Stir down the sides quite a bit during these 1st 2 steps.
- Sprinkle the gelatine on the lemon juice, and wait for 5 minutes for it all to be wet and spongy.
- Sit the container with the lemon juice in a bowl of boiling water to dissolve all the gelatine. I used a pyrex jug for the lemon juice to make this a bit easier. You don’t want to get the lemon juice too hot at this stage. Be especially careful to make sure you have no chunky bits of gelatine.
- Add all the lemon juice/gelatine mix to the mixer, and mix really well. The mix should thicken a bit.
- Pour into your chilled base, and return to the fridge.
I had heaps of trouble finding a recipe for this. Most recipes want you to make a jelly like you would make a jam, so finding something which was set firm with gelatine was a real struggle. Eventually I found Cross Creek Cookery. A zany and quirky book of Southern American cuisine written in the 1940s. Thankfully they came to the rescue with their kumquat jelly recipe. Incidentally if you want to know how to cook bear or alligator, you should buy the book!
- 4 cups cumquats, sliced
- ½ cup sugar
- 125ml Sauternes, or some other sweet white wine
- 40ml orange liqueur
- 1 tbsp powdered gelatine
- 2 tbsp cold water
- A few grains salt
- Put all your sliced cumquats in a saucepan, and cover with some water.
- Bring slowly up to the boil, and simmer for 30 minutes.
- Drain your cumquats, and push the refuse through your sieve to extract more flavour and juice. You want to end up with 1½ cups cumquat juice.
- Sprinkle the gelatine over the cold water. Let sit overnight allow the gelatine to swell up.
- Return the juice back to the saucepan, add sugar, wine and liqueur. Heat until almost boiling.
- Add the gelatine mixture, and the salt. Stir until fully dissolved.
- Cool for about 1 hour, and slowly pour some of the mixture over your chilled cheesecake. I poured over the back of a spoon just to make extra sure that I didn’t melt the layer below.
You’ll have a fair bit of jelly left over. Pop into some jelly moulds, or some glasses and have on their own. It’s an amazingly sweet and tart jelly! I did find this wicked looking jelly mould, it would work great.
Here’s the cheesecake from the top!