This Lime Cheesecake is the perfect dessert for a celebration or a family dinner. You can make it in advance, it does not require cooking and it has a fantastic combination of creaminess with zesty citrus. It is not too heavy which, combined with its citrus zest, makes it the perfect ending to a special meal.
I make all types of cheesecakes, and also desserts such as Banoffee Pie which have a similar biscuit base. There is something about the combination of the smashed-up buttery biscuit with a creamy topping which seems to be popular with all ages! Smashing up the biscuits is also quite therapeutic..
This is a no-bake recipe. I think the way that it works is almost magical. The citrus juices react with the cream cheese and the cream causing it to solidify. The mixture may seem too liquid when it is first combined but, once it has been poured into the tin and left for a couple of hours, it will have firmed up.
All things citrus – lovely limes and lovely lemons..
This tangy, make-ahead no-cook lime cheesecake is such an easy dessert. Its not too heavy and its zesty citrus flavour is perfect at the end of special meal.
175 g digestive biscuits
75 g butter
Grated zest and juice of 2 limes
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
115 g caster sugar
350 g cream cheese
150 ml double cream
Fresh lime slices to decorate (optional)
Crush the digestive biscuits into crumbs. I have two methods to do this – both equally therapeutic. Either I put the biscuits in a plastic sandwich bag and then bash with a rolling pin or I put the biscuits in a metal bowl (the one from my food processor is perfect) and bash with a rolling pin.
Melt the butter. I generally do this by putting it in a bowl and heating briefly in the microwave.
Stir the melted butter into the crumbs.
Press the buttery crumbs into a 20 cm loose-based flan or cake tin. Put the tin into the fridge while you get on and prepare the other ingredients. The butter will cool and solidify and mean that the base of your cheesecake is stable.
In a bowl, mix the zest and juice of the limes and lemon with the sugar and cream cheese.
Beat the double cream until it forms soft peaks and then fold it into the mixture. The mixture will look lumpy and also a bit runny. Do not worry – it is supposed to look like that!
Spoon the mixture over the biscuit crumb base.
Leave the cheesecake in the fridge for several hours, ideally overnight, to set. The acid from the citrus fruit will react with the cream and cream cheese and form a firm mixture so that it should be easy to remove from the tin when you are ready to eat it.
If you wish, you can decorate the top of the cheesecake with fresh lime slices or some grated lime zest.
Cranberry Pavlova – a meringue-based festive dessert
This Cranberry Pavlova is the perfect light and creamy, meringue-based festive dessert. It is made using left-over Fresh Cranberry Sauce which makes it super-easy to put together.
I always have a family lunch on Boxing Day and serve this pavlova as one of the desserts using sauce prepared for Christmas lunch. It is the perfect dessert for those who have eaten too much Christmas Pudding and want something which is still festive but is a bit lighter!
Making Fresh Cranberry Sauce is really quick and easy. If you haven’t got any left over, it is a matter of minutes to make it from scratch. It is a great accompaniment to a festive meal – either a traditional turkey dinner or a vegetarian alternative. Even better, it can be used as an ingredient in a range of desserts. I will often have some left over if I have made it as a meal accompaniment and sometimes in the summer I make a batch just to make desserts! You just have to make sure that the sauce has time to cool down before it is used to top your pavlova.
Fruit with flavour – cranberry, rhubarb and gooseberry
I love fruit which have a good balance of sharp and sweet flavour. Often, as with this recipe, they need to cooked to bring out their zingy flavour. In addition cranberries, I think rhubarb and gooseberries are both under-rated. If you share my love of a good old-fashioned sharp and sweet fruit recipe, you might like my Rhubarb Fool, Rhubarb Roulade or Gooseberry and Elderflower Sorbet.
One of the great things about pavlova is that while it has that show-stopping, celebratory vibe, they are actually extremely simple to produce even for inexperienced cooks. It is easy to make the meringue a day in advance and then assembling the pavlova takes a matter of minutes. I make loads of them at Christmas and New Year. In addition to my Cranberry Pavlova, two of favourites are Rose and Raspberry Pavlova and Lemon Pavlova.
Lemon Pavlova, what’s not to like? I love lemon and I love meringue, so for me this is pretty much the perfect dessert. Even better, it is really easy to make! One of the great things about pavlovas is that while they have that show-stopping, celebratory vibe, they are actually extremely simple to produce even for inexperienced cooks. Another of my favourites is Rose and Raspberry Pavlova which is a twist on a more traditional pavlova recipe.
This recipe for Lemon Pavlova first came into my family through my Aunt Pat who led a rather glamorous life as a literary agent in the 1950s and 1960s. Part of her not-terribly-onerous job involved taking trips from London to New York in order to meet authors and publishers. Needless to say, food and copious amounts of alcohol figured prominently during these visits. This Lemon Pavlova was made for Aunt Pat by an admirer who lived in New York. Despite the Pavlova, the relationship didn’t last but the recipe became a firm family favourite. I always think of it as a kind of deconstructed Lemon Meringue Pie but without the pie! I think it is brilliant as just having the lemon and the meringue makes it a much lighter dessert.
Lovely Lemon Curd…
The lemon flavour in this Pavlova is provided by Lemon Curd. If you are pushed for time, you can, if you must, use shop-bought Lemon Curd. However, the Lemon Pavlova will truly be so much better if you use home-made Lemon Curd. It only takes ten minutes to make and my Easy Lemon Curd Recipe is fool-proof. Once you’ve made it, it keeps in the fridge for three weeks and can be used in lots of different ways – as a spread, as a cake filling and, of course, as a dessert ingredient. My recipe for easy Lemon Curd Ice Cream is also a great way to use Lemon Curd – home-made or shop bought!
This Rhubarb Roulade is made from a quick and easy sponge cake rolled around a filling of Rhubarb Compote and whipped cream. The sponge and the Compote can be made a day ahead and then the Roulade assembled a few hours before it will be eaten. It looks beautiful, especially if it is dusted with icing sugar and then decorated with a few freeze-dried raspberries. It also tastes really good with a classic combination of sharp rhubarb, light buttery sponge and thick, whipped cream.
Rhubarb Compote is basically just fresh rhubarb cooked with sugar. It is a great basis for other rhubarb dishes, such as this Rhubarb Roulade, and is also the basis of another easy dessert recipe, Rhubarb Fool. I made a big batch of it, as I have a very productive rhubarb plant in my garden and then set about thinking about ways that I could use it.
As I was giving a special dinner, and needed an easy but show-stopping dessert, I immediately thought about making a roulade. They can be made in advance, assembled just before they are eaten, the combination of sponge, cream and fruit is generally popular with everyone and no one ever seems to realise how easy they are to make! Initially, I thought about making a more traditional Strawberry Roulade but then I thought about my Rhubarb Compote and decided to try something a bit different. I think the sweet-sour taste of the compote makes this dessert really special and, even though some of my guests were self-proclaimed rhubarb-haters, they all seemed happy to have second helpings.
This Rhubarb Roulade is a fantastic celebration dessert which looks beautiful and tastes delicious. It consists of light, airy sponge rolled around a combination of sweetened Rhubarb Compote and whipped cream.
Line your Swiss roll tin with baking parchment or grease-proof paper.
Combine the eggs and sugar and whisk until thick and foamy. This can take up to 5 minutes. This is one recipe where you really need a food processor with a whisk attachment or an electric whisk rather than attempting to do it with a hand whisk.
Fold the flour and baking powder into the foamy egg and sugar mixture.
Pour the combined mixture into your Swiss roll tin.
Put the tin in the oven and bake the sponge for 15 minutes until firm and golden.
Turn the cooked sponge onto another sheet of baking parchment or grease-proof paper on which you have sprinkled around a tablespoon of caster sugar.
While the sponge is still warm, roll it up so it looks like a Swiss roll with the paper inside. You need to roll it up while it is warm – you can’t do this when it has cooled off as the cake will crack! Allow to cool completely.
You need to construct your roulade a couple of hours before you are ready to eat it – otherwise, the filling will make it soggy. You need to unroll the sponge and remove the paper. Spread the Rhubarb Compote over the sponge and top it with the whipped double cream. Don’t spread filling too thick and don’t take it quite up to the edge of the sponge (leave a gap of a couple of centimetres). This will avoid too much squidging out when you roll the cake up again!
Roll the filled cake up into a Swiss roll shape again.
Dust with sieved icing sugar.
The cooking times given are for making the Rhubarb Roulade using Rhubarb Compote that you have already made. You will need to allow a further 45 minutes preparation and cooking time to make the Compote plus additional time to allow it to cool.
Rhubarb Fool – a delicious, creamy dessert using fresh rhubarb
Rhubarb Fool is a traditional English dessert, with the earliest recipes dating to the 17th century, which combines sweetened, cooked rhubarb with custard or whipped cream. This recipe is made slightly healthier by using a mixture of whipped cream and Greek yogurt. These are combined with Rhubarb Compote which is a simple sauce made from roasting fresh rhubarb with sugar.
I love the taste of rhubarb and believe that that it goes very well with anything creamy or milk-based. You just have to think of Rhubarb and Custard or Rhubarb Crumble with Cream. In this Rhubarb Fool recipe, the sharp, sweet-sour flavour of rhubarb is moderated by the cream and yogurt. This make is a perfect dish for those who are unsure about rhubarb and may even convert them. It is no coincidence that Gooseberry Fool, which uses another astringent fruit, is also a popular Fool recipe.