Oreos. Summer berries. Jelly. And baked cheesecake. Any one of these ingredients on its own is enough to make me smile. Put together, they create a delicious desert. This is cheesecake perfection with crunchy chocolatey thin base, light and creamy baked cheesecake and summer berries enveloped in firm yet still wobbly jelly. Hooked?
I am very particular when it comes to cheesecakes in the sense that I only like baked cheesecakes and don’t care much for that gooey chilled stuff made out of cream cheese that Mr A adores. I love the texture and flavours of baked cheesecakes, their smooth yet crumbly finish when they are made with curd cheese. And I’d rather have a cheesecake without any biscuit at all if given the choice. You see, for me, cheesecake is synonymous with special occasions and parties, with celebrations and family gatherings. My Mum always baked a cheesecake as it is one of my Dad’s favourite cakes. We are talking old fashioned cheesecake with shortcrust pastry base and curd cheese mixed with eggs and vanilla and generously studded with plump raisins. Utterly delicious. And Mr A’s biggest nightmare when it comes to Polish food. He hates anything that has curd cheese in it…
So whilst this is a proper baked cheesecake, it is not made with curd cheese. Although it easily could be. It is made with quark. Yes, the fat free dairy ingredient. But you couldn’t tell it is fat free if you didn’t know it, it has none of that “nothingness” about it. It is creamy and velvety just like a baked cheesecake should be. My secret ingredient here is an addition of budyn – Polish custard powder. You can buy it in any of the Polish shops or big supermarkets. It is a powdered pudding that is normally added to hot milk and when in its finished state, I’d say it is a cross between custard and blancmange. It can be used as a base for cream patisserie and works particularly well in cheesecakes as the stabilizing ingredient. You will find it in two varieties: with added sugar and without.
As for the Oreo base, it works well for me as it is very thin so the right ratio of cheesecake to biscuit is maintained. It’s like it is almost not there. Jelly and fruit on the other hand are plentiful. I have used some freshly picked strawberries utilising the abundance on our doorstep. And added few raspberries since I love their sweet sharpness. My jelly is also raspberry flavour but any summer berry flavour would work well here too. And for information, the jellies are Polish too but that bares no relevance. Here is the recipe:
- 220 grams of Oreo biscuits
- 80 grams of butter
- 1 kg of quark, plain or vanilla (I have used the latter)
- 4 eggs
- 2 packets of budyn with add sugar(see above)
- 130 grams of caster sugar
- 2 packets of jelly
- fresh strawberries and raspberries
Line a spring form baking tin with baking paper by covering the bottom with the paper and closing the form over it so that the overhang of the paper is outside and can be tucked in underneath the tin. Set aside.
Crush the Oreos in a food processor or using hand held blender. Melt the butter and whilst it is hot, add to it the crushed biscuits. Stir the mixture well until it turns to chocolate molten lava like. Pour the mixture into the prepared tin, allow it to cool a little before placing in the fridge for at least 30 minutes. The mix will be set firmly after that time and will be ready for use.
Preheat the oven to 170°C.
In another bowl mix the quark, eggs, budyn and sugar until just combined. You don’t want to over-whisk or over-whip the mixture as this will create lovely fluffy cheesecake that will rise beautifully only to collapse in front of your eyes. Once all the ingredients are incorporated, pour the cheesecake over the set base. Place in the oven and bake for 50 minutes.
Once the time is up, turn off the oven and open the door slightly. Cool the cake completely in the oven before removing. Once cool, place in the fridge for a couple of hours.
Prepare the jelly by reducing the required water by 25%. So if the normal recipe calls for 1 litre of water for the two packets of jelly, please make it with 750 ml instead. Allow it to cool on the side. In the meantime, arrange the fruit on top of the cheesecake and return it back to the refrigerator.
Once the jelly starts to thicken a little, remove the cake from the fridge and pour the jelly over the fruit. Return the cheesecake back to the fridge and allow to rest for another couple of hours.
You will notice that after 24 hours in the fridge the jelly would have firmed up further whilst the cheesecake will soften slightly more. Remove 5 minutes or so before cutting into wedges or slices. I dare you to stop at one slice! Enjoy x
PS. Poppy and Amber certainly approve…