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Creamy blackcurrant cheesecake

ingredients

makes 8 - 10 slices
90 g (3 1/2 oz) butter
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
200 g (7 oz) shortbread biscuits, finely crushed
butter, for greasing

filling and topping

500 g (1 lb) full-fat soft cheese
175 g (6 oz) caster sugar
3 eggs, separated
finely grated zest of 1/2 lemon
few drops of vanilla flavouring
150 ml (1/4 pint) whipping cream
5 teaspoons powdered gelatine
5 tablespoons water
400 g (14 oz) can blackcurrant pie
filling lemon twists (optional)

method

1. Grease a deep, 23 cm (9 inch) round cake tin with a loose base.

2. Put the butter and sugar into a small, heavy-based saucepan and stir over low heat until melted. Remove from the heat and stir in the biscuit crumbs, then press the mixture evenly over the base of the prepared tin. Refrigerate.

3. Put the cheese into a large bowl and beat until softened. Beat in 75 g (3 oz) sugar, the egg yolks, lemon zest, vanilla and cream.

4. Sprinkle the gelatine over the water in a heatproof bowl. Leave to soak for 5 minutes until spongy, then stand the bowl in a pan of barely simmering water for 1 - 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the gelatine has dissolved.

5. Allow the gelatine to cool slightly, then beat it into the cheese mixture. Leave in a cool place for about 15 minutes, until on point of setting.

6. In a clean, dry bowl, whisk the egg whites until standing in stiff
peaks, then gradually whisk in the remaining sugar. Fold the meringue into the cheese mixture.

7. Turn filling into prepared tin and level the surface. Cover and chill for at least 3 hours, until set.

8. To serve: loosen cake with a palette knife, then remove sides of tin. Spread pie filling over the top. Add lemon twists, if liked.

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