After a week at the cottage, our fridge is full of fresh ingredients straight out of the garden. My favorite berry this time of year is gooseberry.
Gooseberries are so different than any other fruit or berry, a bit sour but so rich in flavor. That's why gooseberries need a sweet companion. I can't think of anything else that would fit the role better than cheesecake. This recipe is time consuming but has three layers of unbeatable goodness.
Ingredients (serves 8)
- 14 oz (400 g) cream cheese
- 3/4 cup (1.8 dl) + 2 tablespoons + 4 tablespoons sugar
(=1 1/8 cup - 2.7 dl)
- 3 eggs
- 3 tablespoon cornstarch
- 11 oz (300g) gooseberries
- 7 oz (200 g) creme fraiche
- 2.5 oz (70 g) butter
- 7 oz (200 g) oatmeal cookies
- 2 tablespoons sugar
Using a kitchen scale to measure most of the ingredients in this recipe is the best way to go. You'll also need a spring form pan, around 9 inches (23 cm) in size. Butter the pan well. 1 1/8 cups (2.7 dl) of sugar will be used in three parts: in the cheesecake mix, in the gooseberry layer and in the creme fraiche topping.
First, prepare the base. Melt butter in a little pot on low heat. Crush the oatmeal cookies in a little plastic bag. I used a rolling pin for crushing and broke the last big pieces left with hands. The cookies should be quite fine crumbs. Mix the crumbs well with the melted butter. Add in the sugar as well. Press the mixture firmly into the base of the pan, and set aside.
Beat the cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar together with an electric mixer. Add in the eggs followed by cornstarch and beat until smooth. Pour the mixture into the pan on top of the cookie base, and bake at 300 F (150 C) for about 55 minutes until set. Turn the oven off and leave the cake to cool in the oven while you prepare the gooseberry layer.
Trim the stems and tails off the gooseberries. In a pot, bring the gooseberries, sugar and a little splash of water to a simmer. Cook on low heat for 3 minutes until the berries are soft but still whole. Take the berries off the heat and drain, reserving the juice. Pour the juice back into the pot and boil until reduced to about 2 tablespoons. Mix the syrup with the berries and let cool.
Take the cheesecake out of the oven, and turn the oven back on to the same temperature. Spread the gooseberries on the bit cooled cake. Mix the creme fraiche and 4 tablespoons of sugar, and spoon it on top of the berries. Bake the cake for 15-2o minutes more with these new toppings, and turn off the oven again. Let the cake cool inside the oven. Refrigerate covered for 4 hours or overnight. This cheesecake is the perfect make ahead cake; it is best served the next day but will store for up to 3 days.