I'm having friends for dinner tomorrow, and to save myself the strain of doing all the cooking on one day, decided to make the pudding in advance. Recipes for the remainder of the food (and photos) to follow. In the meantime, here's an extremely easy and delicious cheesecake.
Base and sides
125g of butter
1 cup rolled oats
100g wheatmeal biscuits, finely crushed
2 tbsps soft brown sugar
375g light cream cheese (I used Philedelphia)
100g fresh ricotta cheese
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
Grated rind from one orange
1 tbsp plain flour
250g fresh blueberries
3/4 cup blackcurrant conserve
1/3 cup cherry brandy
Brush a 20cm round deep srpingform cake tin with oil or butter (I forgot at this stage the instruction to line the base with greaseproof baking paper, but then I'm not perfect, and will just have to get busy with a breadknife when taking it out of the tin tomorrow). Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the oats and biscuit crumbs and mix well. Stir in the sugar. Use half the mixture to spread on the base and use the rest to create sides, using a glass to press it into place, to about 2/3 way up the rim. It might look as if you haven't got quite enough mixture at this point - I debated making some more - but it's enough, honest. Refrigerate for 15 mins whilst the oven is preheating to GM4 (180 degrees c).
Beat the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar and sour cream together (I used the food processor as I don't have electric beaters, and it would be too stiff to do by hand unless palming it off on your nearest and dearest with muscles. Mine was at work). Beat in the eggs, orange rind and flour until smooth. Put the tin on a flat tray to catch any drips, pour the filling into the crust and bake for 40 - 45 mins, until the filling is just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. I tasted a tiny bit of the filling at this point and it's lovely - creamy and fresh, sweet but not too sweet.
Carefully place the blueberries individually in decreasing concentric circles (or scatter - depending on what kind of a cheesecake decorator you are) on the top.
Stir over medium heat until smooth and then simmer for 2 -3 minutes.
Carefully brush over the blueberries and refrigerate the cheesecake til cold or overnight.
Ta da! The finished product. I'll update tomorrow with the true test of eating it... but it's glistening gently in my fridge as we speak.