No gelatine either.
I have to say that this is one of the nicest things I've made in a while. Certainly it tasted vastly better than I was expecting, possibly because it was so very simple. The photo does it no justice - in real life it is a palely creamy thing of beauty.
When I was in my early teens my mother first made ginger cheesecake. For me it was love at first bite. It was my automatic dessert of choice for birthdays and any other opportunity I had to determine any element of the menu. Mum always made it the night before. It may be false memory syndrome, but I seem to recall that she would make the base and then refrigerate that for a few hours to make it set before adding the filling. I'm sure I do remember one night the base fell out of the loose bottom pan when mum was halfway between bench and fridge and those buttered crumbs were everywhere. Then in no time at all they were back in the pan, only myself any the wiser.
Looking for a quick and easy dessert for food chain this month I recalled those lovely cheesecakes my mum makes and thought I'd have a go. On the principle that lemon sets cream, this is what I came up with. This version adds filling straight after crumb base and so takes no time at all.
250g packet ginger biscuits
400g philadelphia cream cheeese
2 lemons, preferably unwaxed
50g icing sugar
250ml double cream
Put the biscuits into a food processor and blitz to crumbs. Alternatively put them in a bag, fold over the end to prevent escapes, and bash ferociously with a rolling pin till you feel much better and, again, have crumbs.
At the same time, have the butter in a small pan over a low heat till it is completely melted. Mix butter and biscuit crumbs and press into the base of a loose bottomed 20cm/8inch pan. Check it is firmly locked.
Whip the cream till you have soft peaks.
In a separate bowl whip the cream cheese with the juice and zest of the lemons. It will be a bit lumpy to start but it soon smoothes out, just keep beating. Add the icing sugar and mix it in. Have a taste - you want sharp but not mouth puckeringly so.
With a spatula slowly incorporate about half the cream into the lemon cheese mix then add the rest of the whipped cream in one go and mix it to a lovely smooth cream. It will be fairly stiff rather than runny.
Cover with clingfilm, refrigerate till you want to serve it. Cut into generous slices.
From go to whoah this took me 20 minutes. And the final cheesecake really was utterly fabulous - tangy light little creamy cloud mouthfuls leavened with a tiny hint of lemon zest and a bit of ginger crunch to finish.