Caramelised fig cheesecake

Caramelised fig cheesecake

This stunning cheesecake has the consistency of crème brûlée. It will be the star attraction on a dessert buffet, so you may have to make two at a time.

Caramelised fig cheesecake

Serves: 6

Ingredients

  • BASE

  • 240g (2 cups) cake flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 50g icing sugar
  • a pinch of salt
  • 125g butter, chilled and cubed
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 30ml – 45ml (2 tbsp – 3 tbsp)
  • ice-cold water
  • 1 large egg
  • FILLING

  • 125g butter, softened
  • 125g castor sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 225g crème fraîche
  • 1 vanilla pod, split and seeds reserved
  • 15 fresh figs (see Notes below)
  • sugar, to sprinkle

Instructions

1

For the base, preheat the oven to 190°C and lightly grease a 20cm fluted tart tin.

2

Sift the flour, icing sugar and salt into a large bowl. Rub in the butter, using your fingers, until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.

3

Add the egg yolks and water and mix to a firm but malleable dough. Transfer the dough to a lightly floured work surface and knead until smooth. Shape it into a ball, wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4

Roll the pastry out thinly on a lightly floured work surface. Line the tin with the pastry and prick the base with a fork. Line the pastry with baking paper, fill with beans and bake blind for 10 minutes. Remove the baking paper, discard the beans and bake for another 5 minutes.

5

Beat the egg and a pinch of salt, and brush the inside of the pastry case. Return it to the oven for 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and let it cool in the tin.

6

For the filling, place the butter, sugar and 1 of the eggs in a large bowl and beat until soft and fluffy, using a wooden spoon or electric hand mixer. Beat in the crème fraîche.

7

Mix the vanilla seeds and remaining eggs in a separate bowl. Gradually beat the vanilla mixture into the crème fraîche mixture.

8

Pour the filling into the pastry case and bake until risen and brown, about 25 – 30 minutes. Let it cool in the tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.

9

Halve the figs lengthways and arrange them neatly on top of the cheesecake. Just before serving, sprinkle the figs with sugar and lightly caramelise the sugar with a blowtorch.

Notes

If you can’t find fresh figs, replace them with apples or pears.

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