Sweet and salty cheesecake with cherries and crumble

Ingredients

  • 100g feta
  • 300g cream cheese
  • 40g caster sugar
  • Finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
  • 130ml double cream
  • 90g fresh blackberries (or de-frosted frozen blackberries, if out of season) 
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, for drizzling
  • Crumble: 
  • 100g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
  • 50g cold unsalted butter, diced
  • 50g wholemeal flour
  • 25g plain flour
  • 50g brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp black sesame seeds 
  • ¼ tsp salt 
  • Cherry compote:
  • 600g frozen pitted cherries, defrosted
  • 90g caster sugar
  • 4 whole star anise
  • 4 strips orange skin
  • 4 tbsp Orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
Sweet and salty cheesecake with cherries and crumble
    Serves four to six

This is the ultimate dinner party dish. All the elements can be cooked well in advance and put together at the very last minute. Adding the feta is sure to win you serious accolades, as it is an original addition in a dessert and completely delicious. When fresh cherries are not in season you can easily use frozen.

  1. Use a spatula to break down the feta to be as smooth as possible. Whisk in the cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest. Place the cream in a separate bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Fold half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese and feta mix followed by the second half. Be careful not to over mix. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. The mixture will last up to 3 days in the fridge.
  2. Pre heat the oven to 180C
  3. Place the almonds and both flours in a large bowl. Use your hands to rub in the butter until a crumb-like consistency forms. Stir through the sugar, sesame seeds and salt. Spread out on a baking tray and cook for about 12 minutes, until golden brown.  
  4. Place the cherries, sugar, star anise and orange peel in a medium saucepan and place on a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for between 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Add the orange liqueur and simmer for a further 2 minute. The sauce will become thicker as it cools down.
  5. Once the cherry compote has cooled to room temperature you are ready to serve. For one portion, spoon out a large scoop of cheesecake onto a plate, top with plenty of the crumble, lots compote, more crumble, some fresh blackberries and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.