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Bloomin' Easy Vanilla Cheesecake (Jamie Oliver)

It looked better in real,
life than the photo - honest
This was made by my friend Zara for a party, I loved it - cheesecake is on my unable to resist list - and got the recipe. Its courtesy of Jamie Oliver and I think its in a couple of his books. Zara served hers plain, I served mine with apple compote. As it was too big for the dinner for four I was putting together, I halved the recipe which worked really well. Note to self: It would of worked better had I halved the butter the first time I made the base (oven, black smoke and a stinky kitchen).

Bloomin' Easy Vanilla Cheesecake

150g unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
250g digestive biscuits, crushed 
115g caster sugar 
3 tablespoons cornflour 
900g full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature 
2 large free-range or organic eggs
115ml double cream 
1 vanilla pod, scored length ways and seeds removed, or ½ teaspoon vanilla extract 
zest of 1 lemon
zest of 1 orange

For the cherry compote 400g stoned cherries, 3 heaped tablespoons caster sugar optional: a swig of port or whisky, icing sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4, and grease and line the bottom and sides of a 24cm spring form cake tin. Mix the biscuits and butter in a bowl, press into the base of the prepared tin and cook for 10 minutes. Then remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Turn the oven up to 200ºC/400ºF/gas 6. Combine the sugar and cornflour in a bowl. Add the cream cheese and beat, ideally with an electric whisk, until creamy. Add the eggs and beat well. Gradually add the cream, beating until smooth, then beat in the vanilla seeds or extract and lemon and orange zest.

Scrape the mixture on to the biscuit base, and gently shake it to level out the surface. Put the cheesecake in the centre of the oven and bake for 40 to 45 minutes until the top is golden brown and the filling has set around the edges. (A piece of foil over the top will stop it browning too much.) Let it cool at room temperature and serve after 2 or 3 hours, or, for a slightly firmer texture, put it in the fridge until it’s nice and cold.

Before serving, put the cherries in a pan, sprinkle over the sugar and add a splash of water. Put on a low to medium heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes. If you’ve got some port or whisky handy, feel free to add some. When the compote has reduced down it may be a little dry, so add a splash of water to loosen it. Remove from the heat and let it cool down, then serve spooned over the cheesecake with a dusting of icing sugar.
Recipe here.

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