Recipe from The Vegetarian Pantry by Chloe Coker (Ryland Peters & Small, 2013)
This twist on a classic baked cheesecake is ideal to serve on a special occasion. Use your preferred strong-flavoured cheese and seasonal herbs and serve with a crisp green salad and our Apple, Celery and Mint Salsa (page 62).
For the crust
- 7 oz. oatcakes
- 3 1⁄2 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons honey
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the filling
- 2⁄3 cup cream cheese
- 2⁄3 cup vegetarian ricotta cheese
- 1⁄3 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 3 egg yolks
- 3 1⁄2 oz. Wensleydale, feta or any blue cheese
- a handful of chives, finely chopped
- 3 egg whites
- 3⁄4 cup finely grated Parmesan
- salt and ground white pepper
For the salted honey walnuts
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 2 teaspoons brown sugar
- 2 teaspoons Maldon sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
- 3⁄4 cup walnut pieces
Preheat the oven to 150ºC (300ºF) Gas 2.
To make the crust, put the oatcakes in a plastic bag and crush them with a rolling pin, or whizz to crumbs in a food processor. Tip the crumbs into a large bowl and season with salt and pepper. Melt the butter over gentle heat in a saucepan until the butter foams and turns golden. Remove from the heat and stir in the honey until dissolved. Combine the butter and honey with the oatcake crumbs. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the chef’s rings. Use the base of a glass to press down the mixture. Bake the crust in the preheated oven for 8–10 minutes until golden and firm.
Meanwhile, put the cream cheese, ricotta, sour cream, mustard and egg yolks in a bowl and whisk until light and fluffy. Crumble
in the cheese, stir in the chives and season with salt and pepper.
In a separate bowl, and using clean beaters, beat the egg whites to medium peaks. Take a spoonful of the egg white and stir it through the cheese mixture to loosen it. Gently fold in the remaining egg whites with a metal spoon.
Cool the oven to 160°C (325°F) Gas 3. Spoon the mixture into the chef’s rings to cover the oatcake crust, and sprinkle with the Parmesan. Bake in the preheated oven for 30–40 minutes, until the cheesecakes are golden on top and set but still have a slight, wobble when you gently shake the pans.
To make the salted honey walnuts, put the honey, sugar and salt in a pan. Dissolve over low heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved and the honey has turned liquid. Remove from the heat, add the walnut pieces and stir until well coated. Turn the nuts onto the baking sheet and sprinkle with extra salt. Leave to cool and set.
Use a knife to loosen the edges of the cheesecakes and turn them out. Serve warm or at room temperature, with the salted honey walnuts and Apple, Celery and Mint Salsa, if liked.