Sweet and salty cheesecake with cherries and crumble

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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

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)

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. Serves four to six


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.
Pre heat the oven to 180C
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.
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.
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.

Perfect with

  1. Black sesame seeds

    A great and dramatic addition to salads, noodles and vegetables

    Black sesame seeds


{based on 7 reviews}

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  • Cake Splendid
    (18/07/2015) Flavours and textures were superb. I beat the feta first and the result was a wonderful creaminess. Unfortunately, not cherry season, so I used blackberries and the result was lovely.

    I put the extra crumb in a jar and it kept crisp and fresh for weeks. Used it again when we had unexpected guests for dinner over compete with marscapone. I now make the crumb just to refill the jar!
  • Cake Truly delicious, perfect for parties!
    (03/04/2015) Gorgeous and unusual combination of flavours that really works. Took it to a dinner party and plates were licked clean! An easy five stars.
  • Cake Delish!
    (05/10/2014) This is a delicious and extremely easy to make dessert. The bonus is that it can all be made ahead of time and magically whipped together at the last moment. Delicious and a whimsical twist on the 'normal' cheesecake. I did break down the feta but it was not really smooth and I quite liked that. Did omit the Olive oil drizzle as I was serving to some elderly ladies who have conservative tastes!! All in all a 'keeper' as my husband and I say when I try a recipe we like. Try it guys! You will love it too!
  • Cake perfect easy dinner party recipe
    (08/03/2014) Am just making this for the second time (had so much of the crumb mix left from the first time that I froze it). V casual dinner tonight so am cheating the fruity bit with Yeo Valley fruit compote (sorry Mr Ottolenghi) - so v easy to prepare Always great to have a dessert that doesn't need much work at the end of the meal. And the salt/sweet flavours work very well. I blitzed the feta in the processor too.
  • Cake delicious - but hold the butter
    (14/12/2013) 500g of butter? Are you sure? I made it with 250g butter and the texture of the crumble was perfect. I cheated and mixed the feta in my kitchenaid so it was really smooth. I also used brandy with the cherries and left the orange peel out. Not a fan of orange. Tasted fantastic and simple to make.
  • Cake fabulous combination of flavours
    (24/11/2013) Have just been trying this out as a different dessert to serve at my family get together just after Christmas. This is perfect, easy to prepare in advance and a stylish way to round off the meal. I have swapped the cherries for cranberries and served with mandarin segments in place of the blackberries and it is wonderful. I can't wait to present it to my family. gorgeous!
  • Cake There are simpler recipes that this one.
    (24/11/2013) I would suggest making half the amount of crumble unless you want to be eating it for weeks after and it was impossible to produce the cheese mixture without small lumps of feta cheese remaining. I would recommend ditching feta and for a smoother texture simply stick with cream cheese and double cream. Fruit added a refreshing addition to the dessert.