Holiday cheesecake

  • 2 baguettes
  • Olive oil, for brushing
  • 42g butter, melted
  • 1 (425ml container) whole milk ricotta cheese
  • 2 (226g) packages cream cheese
  • 113g goat cheese
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 170g diced roasted red peppers
  • 75g chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh thyme leaves
  • 110g strawberry jam
  • 1 tbsp hot water
  • Special equipment: 1 (20cm) diameter springform (cheesecake) tin
Preheat the oven to 180C/Gas 4.

1) To make the crostini, cut the baguettes into 0.5cm thick slices. Using a pastry brush, brush the slices with olive oil. Place on 2 foil-lined baking sheets and bake until crisp and golden, about 12 to 15 minutes. Reserve 25 of the crostini slices for the cheesecake. Cool the remaining crostini, then store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

2) To make the cheesecake crust, put the 25 crostini slices in a food processor and run the machine until crostini are like bread crumbs, about 1 minute. Add the melted butter and pulse a few times to combine. Press the bread crumbs into the bottom of the cheesecake pan. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

3) To make the cheesecake, wrap the outside of the cheesecake tin with 2 layers of heavy-duty foil. Place the ricotta, cream cheese and goat cheese in a food processor. Pulse to mix. Add the eggs, caster sugar and salt and pulse a few times until well mixed.

4) Using a rubber spatula, stir in the red pepper, basil, and thyme.

5) Pour the cheese mixture into the cheesecake tin and place the tin in a roasting pan. Pour enough hot water in the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the cheesecake tin. Bake until the cheesecake is golden at the edges and the centre of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour (the cake will become firm when it is cold.)

6) Transfer the cake to a wire rack to cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 3 hours and up to 2 days.

7) To serve, combine the jam and the hot water in a small bowl and stir until the jam is liquefied. Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan by running a knife around the inside of the rim and unlatching the ring. Then, run a long metal spatula under the cheesecake and gently slide onto a serving plate. Drizzle the jam mixture over the top of the cheesecake encouraging some of the jam to run down the sides. Serve with the reserved crostini alongside.

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