This Lab Farewell Cookbook recipe is one I was guaranteed to love: it's a classic, unbaked cheesecake. It comes from Dolla, who famously doesn't like to cook, but has shared food from other family members at the annual Lab Culinary Competition. I have fond memories of her mum's felafel and dolmades, and this cheesecake is her husband's specialty.
I'm posting the full recipe quantity below, but I actually halved it this time around. My half-quant still generated about six servings to take us through the week, and I was able to assemble them in some cute little tins I received for my birthday last year. The biscuit crumb base should be ground finer than you can see pictured above; sadly our food processor conked out while I was preparing this recipe, and I finished the job clumsily with a pestle and mixing bowl. (I reckon my usual baking paper-and-rolling pin approach would beat it.)
The filling is so simple and so effective; just cream cheese, sweetened condensed milk, and lemon juice. It's creamy and tangy, and it sets firmly without being gelatinous. I couldn't get hold of fresh blueberries that I was happy with, so I had some fun trying my hand at the candied lemon topping.
Dolla's (husband's) cheesecake
(a recipe shared by Dolla in the Lab Farewell Cookbook)
200g milk coffee biscuits
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
2 x 250g blocks Philadelphia cream cheese, at room temperature
2 x 395g cans sweetened condensed milk
juice from 4 lemons
topping option 1
topping option 2
finely sliced rind of 2 lemons
1/4 cup water
1/4 cup caster sugar
Line a 22cm springform cake pan with paper and spray it with oil.
Grind the biscuits and cinnamon in a food processor until they form fine crumbs (mine, photographed above, were too coarse). Melt the butter in a small saucepan and pour it into the food processor, blitzing further to thoroughly combine. Press the crumbs into the cake pan, forming a wall up the sides of the pan as well as covering the base completely. Refrigerate the base.
Use a food processor or electric beater to thoroughly combine the cream cheese, condensed milk and lemon juice, until they are completely combined and smooth. Pour the filling over the base and refrigerate for at least 3 hours, ideally overnight.
For topping option 1, place the blueberries on the top of the cheesecake when it's ready to serve.
For topping option 2, remove as much pith and pulp as you can from the lemon rind. Place the rind, water and sugar in a small saucepan and bring them to the boil, allowing the syrup to thicken. Arrange the rind and syrup over the cheesecake when it's ready to serve.