I'm not a big fan of desserts (I'll often opt for a starter over the sweeter option), but a cheesecake - now that's a different story. I'll take one baked, chilled, topped with fruits or bare but surprisingly I can't remember the last time I made one at home.
When I'm making a dessert (and that only really happens when it's an occasion), I like to create something that will be hassle-free by the time we're done with the savouries ... and for me that usually means -
- I can make it beforehand.
- It can sit in the fridge minding its own business until it's called upon to make an entrance.
- It's already individually portioned - especially in little glasses or pots, which come to no harm in the fridge nestled between tomorrow's packed lunches and a multi-pack of yoghurts.
And that's why these Easy Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecakes are a recipe that I return to again and again.
But let's be frank, we're not ACTUALLY making individual cheesecakes here - that sounds way too much like hard work. There was a time when a dessert like this would have been called 'deconstructed' but even that sounds heavier than it needs to be. So what is the secret to these Easy Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecakes?
- Crush some ginger nuts (plastic bag + a rolling pin + the frustrations of the day) and chop up some almonds. Stir some melted butter through the nutty, biscuity rubble and share the mixture between 6 little glasses (these ones are from Ikea and work well for me).
- Next, add a few frozen raspberries to each glass. Often FROZEN = CHEAPER and the fact that they defrost giving out a bit of fruity juice is a good thing too.
- Next scoop in a spoonful of good lemon curd. The emphasis is on the good, as for me this is the killer ' time-saving ingredient' - all the illusion of a lemony cheesecake with none of the effort. I mostly opt for M&S's Sicilian Lemon Curd, which is especially delicious without the chemically taste that you often get from shop-bought. We did a blind taste test a while back (remember, we are fans of such a thing) between M&S's curd and a jar of homemade. Between a crowd of 8 of us, the vote was split right down the middle, which to me says, only take the time to make it if you REALLY want to. As an aside, by the time we reached the last taster (#2 teenage son), #1 teenage son had hatched a sneaky plan and replaced his brother's spoonful of lemony loveliness with a big dollop of English mustard. No need to describe the aftermath, but safe to say that revenge is sweet ... or perhaps hot. Anyway, back to the cheesecakes ...
- Next, a big dollop of mascarpone, loosened with a splash of milk, sweetened a touch and zested up with a bit of lemon.
- And finally, garnish with a few almonds and a fresh raspberry or three.
And here's why you won't be able to leave these Easy Lemon and Raspberry Cheesecakes alone -
- So easy that the children could rustle them up for you.
- This dessert makes great use of clever 'time saving' ingredients so that you can create something delicious without it taking hours.
- Perfect for getting ready ahead of time. The only thing I do just before serving is the garnishing bit.
- A delicious, light and refreshing end to a meal.
- And if there happen to be any leftover they're still beautiful the next day.
So, create yourself an occasion, stock up on some lemon curd and you're half way to a dessert to remember.
I'm sure you'll be their number one fan. After me of course.