Monday 20 April 2015

No Bake Lemon & Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake Shots

I’m still here! I can’t believe I haven’t posted for over 3 weeks. I don’t know where the days have gone. The reason for my absence is I’ve started a great new job in London! Getting to grips with the new job and commuting back and forth has sort of taken over my life lately, but I love it. Incidentally if anyone knows of a friend with a spare room to rent in London please email – I’m desperate to move closer. At the moment I’m spending up to 4 hours a day just commuting, which is no fun. I’ve not yet had time to explore London and all its fabulous foodie places but I’m sure a few will start to appear in the next few months.

Anyway, back to something tasty and more food related. These little lemon and blueberry creamy ricotta desserts are the result of buying a little punnet of blueberries in the reduced section and needing to do something with them. They were a little on the squishy side and so turning them into a compote seemed the best solution. I love the deep dark purple colour and found this really intensified the blueberry flavour too.

I liked the idea of using the blueberry compote on top of cheesecake, only problem was, at the time my house was a cheesecake free zone and I didn’t have time to bake one. Instead I combined a tub of ricotta with some cream cheese and a bit of lemon. Spooned this into glasses and topped it with the compote to make a very light and fresh tasting cheesecake-style shot.

You could also add a biscuit base of the glasses first if you like, but I chose instead to serve it with some little biscuits for dunking and scooping. I made these by cutting out circles from some leftover pastry I had from baking this meringue pie recently. What was essentially a dessert of leftovers turned out to be very tasty treat.

The ricotta made the ‘cheesecake’ part lighter and more softly set than if I’d used all cream cheese. This made it more spoonable and scoopable and resulted in a nice light dessert. Sometimes cheesecake can be a bit rich after a big meal but these were perfect.

I always like the combination of blueberry and lemon together, it’s so fresh and summery. I purposely made these not that sweet too, allowing the fruity blueberries and the zing from the lemon to shine through.

No Bake Lemon & Blueberry Ricotta Cheesecake Shots

Blueberry Compote
150g blueberries
Juice of ½ lemon
2 tbsp water
1 tbsp honey
1 tsp cornflour

Lemon Ricotta Base
250g ricotta cheese
150g cream cheese
Zest of 1 lemon
Juice of ½ lemon
2-3 tbsp icing sugar

To Serve
Gluten free biscuits or pastry rounds

Start by making the blueberry compote. Zest the lemon and set it aside to use in the cheesecake base later.
Place the blueberries, lemon juice, water and honey into a small pan. Heat gently until the blueberries have started to soften, pop and release all their juices. Simmer for a few minutes until the fruit is broken down.
Mix the cornflour in a small bowl with a few drops of water until dissolved. Stir half of this into the blueberry mixture and simmer for 30 seconds. If it still seems a little runny, add a little more of the cornflour mix. It will thicken on cooling so you want it to stay softly set, it should be slightly thickened but not jam-like.
Set aside to cool.

To make the ricotta layer. Using a spatula, beat together the ricotta and cream cheese until well combined (the ricotta will mean it won’t go completely smooth). Add the lemon zest and icing sugar and beat to combine. Add some of the lemon juice, mix well and taste. Add more lemon or sugar depending on your preference. Don’t add too much lemon juice or it may go too sloppy.
Divide the mixture between 6 small pretty glasses. Place in the fridge to firm up for at least an hour before spooning over the blueberry compote. If you have time, chill again for another hour.
These can be made the day before. Serve with tiny spoons and little biscuits for scooping.
Makes 6 small glasses