Jun 7, 2013

When Life Gives You Lemons. Burial Rights by Hannah Kent.


When life gives you lemons on a Friday, there's only one thing you could possibly do with them....



And that would be to make a lemon cheesecake.




Using a quick and easy recipe like this one I found on David the One Pot Chef's YouTube channel. His video for the recipe is also a touching tribute to his late mother who perfected the recipe before teaching it to him. David's YouTube is full of which and easy 'real world' recipes and I have my eye on a few of his savoury recipes for dinner in the coming weeks.




What I like most about David's mum's recipe is that it contains lots of fresh lemon juice. I was reading somewhere that it's the lemon juice that's key in getting no bake cheesecakes like this to set properly. The lemons I used today were home grown. They're so much juicier and fragrant than their feeble supermarket cousins.



The biggest challenge for me with this recipe was attempting to make the biscuit base. I didn't have a food processor or rolling pin with which to blitz my biscuits into submission. The heaviest item in the kitchen was this can of baked beans. Which you would have thought would have been indestructible but in fact I actually managed to dent whilst trying to bash my packet of digestive biscuits. So it was McVitie's 1, Heinz nil. I then went all Jamie Oliver and bashed the biscuits against the bench top but the only crumbled the biscuits at the ends of the packet.
Rustic biscuit crumbs.
In the end, I just used my hands. Lucky I chose digestives, I wouldn't have gotten very far with ginger nuts. Because a full 250g block of unsalted butter was used and I had a large tin for the cheesecake, I ended up using 400g of biscuits rather than the 250g suggested in the recipe.
The next step was too easy. I used the old bottom of a tumbler trick to get the base as smooth as I could. Yes, I put that dent in the can of baked beans.
While the base was setting in the fridge, I got to work on the main event. I took David's advice to heart and thought of his mum as I worked. I even used the same Kenwood mixer as he did in the video.
I beat my mixture for around 10 minutes, it was just a matter of combining 3 blocks of cream cheese, 2 cans of condensed milk and the juice of 3 lemons. It goes without saying that the result produced the yummiest beater and wooden spoon that I've licked I'm quite a while. Okay, sorry, that was too much information.


The batter thickens up and gains a fair bit of volume with the beating. I used a 23 cm spring form pan and it filled nicely.


While the cheesecake is setting in the fridge, how about a few words about what I'm reading now?





If you're lucky enough to be having a long weekend as of now, I'm currently reading a novel that may keep you entertained as you enjoy that extra night of 'staying up until whenever' on Sunday. Alison over at Life In A Pink Fibro blogged about Australian author Hannah Kent's debut novel Burial Rites and I was so intrigued I downloaded it from Amazon and started reading it last night.


Admittedly, the subject matter sounds a little dry. Set in 1829, Burial Rights is the story of Agnes Magnusdottir a servant charged with murder who was the last woman to be beheaded in Iceland. However, Hannah Kent's passion for her subject and the beauty of her writing makes for an engrossing read. As the story unfolds, we get to know a little more about Agnes as she settles in with the family who are to look after her and provide spiritual guidance in the months until her execution. The question of whether she really is guilty of murder is going to be keeping me turning the pages well past midnight, I'm thinking.







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