One of my favourite treats growing up was my mum’s pineapple cheesecake. I remember my excitement when I heard her crushing the biscuits for the base and the agonising wait as it set in the fridge.
A few years ago, I asked Mum for the recipe, but she had lost it. This recipe below is my attempt to recreate it. I think it’s more or less the same, although perhaps my mother used to put more pineapple in. This cheesecake is one that is set in the fridge – I don’t actually enjoy baked cheesecakes much as I find them too heavy and rich.
The sweet, tangy, creamy topping with the buttery, crunchy base is an unbeatable combination. However, as I was making this for some friends who were coming over, I decided to make it a bit more special. This month’s Taste magazine has a feature on edible flowers, complete with a ricotta cheesecake with spring-flower jelly on the cover. It looked really pretty, so I used it as inspiration. (This is why the recipe has both powdered gelatin and gelatin leaf – because it’s a combination of two recipes.) I decided to have a much smaller jelly layer and use only the petals of the flowers, instead of keeping them whole, as I wanted it to still look nice once it was cut. I also used coconut water to make the jelly as I thought the flavour would complement the pineapple in the cheesecake. I bought the flowers from Farro Fresh on Lunn Avenue.
I was pleased with the way it looked, although my springform tin was a bit small so my base layer ended up being quite thick. I would suggest using a medium size springfrom tin. Also, you don’t need to do the coconut and flower jelly layer at all if you don’t want to – the cheesecake is still delicious without it. If you’re not a fan of pineapple, this cheesecake is easily adaptable – just swap the pineapple for any other fruit such as berries.
Pineapple cheesecake with coconut and flower jelly
100g butter, melted
250g Superwine biscuits, crushed
250g cream cheese
2/3 C caster sugar
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsps powdered gelatin
125mL hot water
425g tin of crushed pineapple, drained
Prepare a medium size springform tin by lining the base with baking paper and then greasing the sides, making sure to go right up to the top if you are including the jelly layer.
For the base, mix together the crushed biscuits and melted butter. Press into a lined and greased medium springform tin and refrigerate until set.
Meanwhile, mix together the cream cheese and sugar.
In another bowl, whip the cream and vanilla essence together. Combine this with the cream cheese and sugar.
Melt the gelatin in the hot water, then add to the mixture. Add the pineapple, stir together and then pour onto the base. Refrigerate for a few hours (or overnight) until set.
For the optional coconut and flower jelly layer
1 gelatin leaf (for a thin layer of jelly – use 2 leaves for a thicker layer)
100mL coconut water (for a thin layer of jelly – use 200mL for a thicker layer)
squeeze of lemon juice (or lime juice – both optional)
Squeeze a bit of lemon juice into your coconut water and then heat up on a stove or in a microwave until the liquid is hot, but not boiling.
Soak the gelatin leaf in cold water until softened. Squeeze out the excess water from the leaf and then add to the hot liquid. Whisk with a fork until dissolved.
Leave until cooled to room temperature.
Meanwhile, carefully pull the petals off your flowers and arrange over your cheesecake how you wish (while the cheesecake is still in the springfrom tin!).
Then, gently pour your cooled liquid over the cheesecake and adjust any flowers which have moved. Return to fridge until set.
When you are ready to serve, using a clean finger, gently pull the edge of the jelly away from the tin with small nudging motions. Once you are satisfied that the jelly is not attached to the sides of the tin, you can release the springform tin and remove the cheesecake.
This post is part of the monthly link up party Our Growing Edge. This event aims to connect food bloggers and inspire us to try new things. This month is hosted by Corina from Searching for Spice. You can check out her great blog here.
You can find out more about Our Growing Edge by clicking here.