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Ham Cheesecake

ingredients

serves 6-8
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) 75 g butter or margarine
175 g digestive biscuits, finely crushed
25 g Parmesan cheese, grated
salt
freshly ground black pepper

for the filling

225 g full fat soft cheese
2 eggs, separated
100 g cooked ham, minced or finely chopped
1 x 275 g (10 oz) can crushed pineapple, drained and juice reserved
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt double or whipping cream
salt
freshly ground black pepper
15 g powdered gelatine

for the topping

75 g full fat soft cheese
2 tbsp mayonnaise
1 tbsp chopped fresh chives paprika

method

1. Melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan over a gentle heat and stir in the biscuit crumbs with the Parmesan cheese and salt and pepper to taste.

2. Press evenly over the bottom of a greased loose-bottomed 18-20 cm/7-8 inch round cake tin. Chill while you make the filling.

3. Soften the cheese in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the egg yolks, ham, pineapple, cream and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Put the gelatine and 5 x 15 ml spoons/5 tablespoons of the pineapple juice into a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water and stir until the gelatine has dissolved.

5. Beat the gelatine into the cheese mixture. Leave to one side until the mixture is on the point of setting.

6. Whisk the egg whites until stiff and fold lightly but thoroughly into the cheese mixture.

7. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and shake the tin gently to level the surface. Chill for 3-4 hours or until set.

8. Ease the sides of the tin carefully from the cheesecake and lift the set cheesecake out on the tin base.

9. For the topping, soften the cheese in a bowl and beat in the mayonnaise. Spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake.

10. Sprinkle with chopped chives and a little paprika.

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