Having seen Beth Michelle’s beautiful pure white sweet cheesecake bed topped with a generous pile of glistening ruby pomegranate jewels, I knew that I was going to make a cheesecake with the pomegranates that I am now seeing all over the trees here at the moment.
At the restaurant we used to serve a savoury cheesecake with an apricot chutney. It wasn’t baked and I think it was goat’s cheese. Anyway I was thinking of going down a Greek/Middle Eastern road because of the pomegranate, and feta was the obvious cheese choice.
You make the base from crushed oat biscuits (oatcakes, the ones you serve with a cheese plate) and some sort of nut, I thought pistachio followed the Greek theme but almonds or hazelnuts would be lovely too. You add some honey to make it stick together and it also adds some sweetness to contrast with the sour cheese.
Then you mix feta or goat’s cheese with the same amount of cream cheese and a bit of creme fraiche to loosen it slightly. Add in some fresh herbs and spices and spoon the cheese mixture on top of the base and refrigerate for at least an hour, preferably overnight.
You slide it out of the ring just before serving to stop it sagging or collapsing and top it with some beautiful pomegranate jewels.
Feta & Pomegranate Cheesecake with Pistachio, Mint & Parsley
Serves 2, Vegetarian
- 2 unsweetened oat biscuits (I used Paterson’s Olive Oil Oatcakes)
- about 25 gr shelled pistachios (45 gr with shells)
- 1 tbsp honey
- 100 gr Greek feta
- 100 gr cream cheese (I used Philadelphia light)
- 2 or 3 tbsp creme fraiche (or queso fresco batido)
- a handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
- 5 fresh mint leaves, finely chopped
- pinch dried oregano
- pinch dried mint
- pinch sumac (optional)
- pinch ground cumin
- salt & black pepper
- 1/2 pomegranate
Blitz the oatcakes and pistachios in a blender until sandy then add the honey and blend again. I used two 3 inch/7cm diameter chef rings which I oiled inside. You could put this in a ramekin too but you may have to serve it in it aswell, I’m not sure if it would come out cleanly.
Put the oiled rings on a sheet of greaseproof on a flat plate and spoon half the biscuit mix into each ring. Push it down and spread it out evenly.
Blend the feta, cream cheese and 2 tbsp creme fraiche until smooth. Only add the third tbsp if your mix is really stiff, remember that it has to stand up by itself. Add in the herbs and spices and season with a little salt & some black pepper. Blend again and taste for seasoning.
Spoon half of the cheese mix into each ring, pushing it down evenly and smoothing out the top. Put them in the fridge for at least an hour preferably longer so they set.
To remove the pomegranate kernels: cut it in half widthways through its middle. Hold the pomegranate half in your palm, cut side down over a bowl. Using a wooden spoon smack the back of the pomegranate to release the kernels into the bowl. Continue until all the kernels are out and remove any bits of white membrane that may be attached to them.
Just before serving remove the cheesecakes from the fridge and slide the rings onto your serving plates. Lift the ring slowly and carefully and the cheesecake should slide out of the bottom and onto the plate. (Don’t do this until you are about to serve or they may start to sag or collapse). Top with a tumbling pile of pomegranate jewels, a halved pistachio and a parsley leaf. Serve immediately.
This is a lovely light lunch dish or a very elegant starter/appetizer that looks impressive but is surprisingly simple.
I have to apologise for being late in announcing the winner of the Blissful Bites Cookbook giveaway, but I have a good excuse. Last Sunday morning while I was still in bed we had a thunderstorm directly over head. There was an enormous crack of thunder and bolt of lightning and the electricity went off. When the electricity came back on I went downstairs to switch on the computer but it was completely dead, nothing at all was happening. It has been at the menders since then and I have just got it back today. Thankfully they managed to retrieve all our data. I was so worried about losing all my photos but the are all still there.. phew!
So, a little later than advertised, the winner is…………………………
True Random Number Generator Min: Max: Result: 47 Powered by RANDOM.ORG
The 47th comment was left by Tiffany at Como Water. Congratulations Tiffany!! You are now the proud owner of a copy of the new vegan cookbook Blissful Bites by Christy Morgan. I know you will put it to good use and I hope you enjoy cooking your way through it as much as I am.
Thanks to everyone that entered and I will be trying out the recipes that you wanted to see most in the next few weeks.