Kar Yee’s Recipe
Kar Yee is a FoodCycle Bow Road volunteer.
In a short on ingredients world, everything for this cheesecake has remained readily available. It serves two generously, four if you’re being restrained, and one if you’re just having that kind of a day. This recipe is hugely adaptable to what you have in the house, any fruit, any biscuit, any sweetener or fats (the texture might be a bit different but it’s all delicious). If you have some yoghurt, sour cream or an extra lemon, the extra tartness would be good but not essential. Whipped cheesecakes are the mother of all inventions. Add anything you fancy. If it tastes good on its own, it is rarely going to taste bad combined with all the other lovely ingredients.
If you want to save yourself the washing up, make it directly in your serving bowls as a deconstructed kind of dessert (call it a parfait!). Officially you would chill the cheesecake to help it firm up and hold its shape which is essential if you’re using a tin, however, I’m just fine eating it when the crumbs and butter are still warm with some of the apple and cheesecake mixture scooped on top – far be it for a recipe to get in the way of gluttony!
- 90g Digestives (about 6 biscuits, use ginger nuts, bourbons, whatever you have or fancy)
- 55g Butter (or margarine, or coconut oil…)
- 150ml Double cream
- 180 – 200g Cream cheese (one packet – full fat is the only option here as reduced-fat versions have a higher water content so it would be very liquid)
- 70g Icing sugar
- 1 Lemon (two if you can spare them!)
- 2 Apples (one is fine, 2 gives you more choice to complete the design)
- 5tbsp sugar (soft brown sugar preferably but any will do)
Melt butter and combine with crushed biscuits.
NOTE: If you have any spices you would like to add, ginger, cinnamon add it in. A pinch of salt if the butter is unsalted is also nice but not critical.
Place crumb mixture in the bottom of serving bowls loosely or press into a lined tin and chill.
- NOTE: I used a 15cm diameter ring which was 5cm deep directly on the plate, however a similar sized tin with a loose bottom and spring form sides would be a good call here to ease clean removal. Either line sides with a strip of baking paper or heat gently with a kitchen blowtorch to remove cleanly.
Whip the cream to firm peaks and set to one side.
- NOTE: Leftover cream makes for a nice Pasta Alfredo sauce or soup topping.
Whip the cream cheese and add icing sugar and the zest of the lemon.
Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese with a spatula in stages.
- NOTE: Add vanilla, add extra lemon zest or sour cream if you have it, just keep an eye on the consistency and add some more icing sugar and chill if it is getting too liquid. Any lemon curd or jam would also be nice gently swirled through at the end.
Spoon cream cheese mixture on top of the crumbs and smooth over if desired. Chill in the fridge whilst you do the next part.
Core and slice apples thinly and poach in lemon juice, one tbsp sugar and just enough water to cover.
- NOTE: Add any optional extra flavourings to the poaching liquid – a teaspoon of cinnamon, a knob of butter, vanilla etc.
When the apples are flexible but not breaking down, remove the apples and leave to cool.
- OPTIONAL: With the remaining syrup in the pan, add five tbsp sugar and boil until syrup appears thickened. Take off the hob and leave to cool – it will thicken more as it cools. Serve with the cheesecake or with your porridge in the morning.
Arrange apple slices on top of the cheesecake mixture in overlapping circles from the outside, chill for fifteen minutes if you can bear it (or until you plan to eat it.)
- NOTE: The centre part is easiest if you roll a few pieces of apple in your fingers and press firmly into the cheesecake before allowing it to fan out.
Remove cheesecake from tin and serve.
You can follow Kar Yee on Instagram.