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Minted Cucumber Cheesecake

ingredients

serves 6-8
3/4 stick (6 Tbsp) 75 g butter or margarine
175 g digestive biscuits, finely crushed
grated rind and juice of 1/2 lemon
salt
freshly ground black pepper

for the filling

1/2 large cucumber, peeled and coarsely grated
225 g full fat soft cheese
2 eggs, separated
grated rind of 1/2 lemon
1 tbsp mint jelly
2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt soured cream
1 garlic clove, peeled and crushed
salt
freshly ground black pepper
15 g powdered gelatine
5 tbsp water

for the topping

2/3 cup (150 ml) 1/4 pt soured cream
1 tbsp finely chopped
fresh mint
few cucumber slices
fresh mint sprigs

method

1. Melt the butter or margarine in a saucepan over a gentle heat and stir in the biscuit crumbs with the lemon rind and juice 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. Put the grated cucumber into a piece of muslin or a clean thin cloth and squeeze to remove most of the excess moisture.

4. Soften the cheese in a large mixing bowl. Beat in the egg yolks, lemon rind, mint jelly, soured cream, garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Stir in the grated cucumber.

5. Put the gelatine and water into a small heatproof bowl over a saucepan of hot water and stir until the gelatine has dissolved.

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

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

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

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

10. For the topping, mix the soured cream with the chopped mint and spread over the top of the cheesecake.

11. Garnish with cucumber slices and sprigs of mint.

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