Did you know that you have about 2,000 – 4,000 taste buds and that they begin developing from when you are in your mother’s womb? I always joked that I was born craving Coca Cola and Galaxy chocolate as apparently that is all my mum ate and drank whilst she was pregnant with me, and it took me 25 years to kick the fizzy drink habit!
So you are probably wondering why I am talking about taste buds and what on earth it has to do with the title of today’s post. Well I will let you into a secret, I used to hate Cheesecake, butter, cream, bannans and weirldly cucumbers. However, a couple of years ago I began to realise that my taste buds had begun to develop or some would say ‘mature’, though I still don’t like butter and cucumbers! I finally figured out that I had been missing out on the amazing taste of cheesecake all these years!!! As I couldn’t bear the idea of cheesecake I couldn’t bring myself to make it, therefore I must confess that I have only begun making it in recent months.
Jewish festivals are usually centred around food and there are certain foods eaten during certain festivals. Shavuot which falls in May/June is all about the cheesecake! This year I was determined to make my first cheesecake. As I was going to be travelling just before the festival began, I needed to find a relatively easy and quick recipe that of course would taste amazing! I did a couple of google searches and looked at many of my cookery books but nothing satisfied my requirements. Then came the brainwave, put a request on the family WhatsApp groups that span many different generations and countries as nothing beats a good family recipe. Amazingly within about 5 minutes I had a copy of my Great Grandmother’s recipe ( though this was the WhatsApp group for a different side of the family), that more than fit my requirements! I was now excited to make a cheesecake, especially as it was at the end of Shavuot two years ago that Great Grandma had passed away. I thought what a better way to honour her memory than her eldest Great Grandaughter making her cheescake ( and eventually writing about it in her blog!).
Great Grandma, I’m sure you wouldn’t have minded (as I understand this is exactly what you would do) but I have adapted the recipe ever so slightly, giving it a little twist using some of my favourite flavours – ginger and blueberries.The results were rather tasty, and this is now going to become a regular recipe, not just for Shavuot but for the whole year!
I also apologise for the lateness in this post, but you would have been happy to know that as I write this I am sitting in a cafe in the amazing country, Israel, that you called home and helped your whole family fall in love with! And as I actually submit this post I am sitting in Netanya, 10 floors below your apartment listening to the sounds of the waves. I miss you! We all miss you!
Blueberry and Ginger Cheesecake:
4 eggs 3 oz caster sugar or exylotol
Grated lemon rind
1lb soft cheese
2 oz butter
8 crushed digestive biscuits (ginger – optional) ( if no ginger digestive biscuits are available just add in 1.5 tsp of ground ginger)
500 g Blueberries
Take out cheese from the fridge at least 1 hour before you use it so it is easy to mix. Set oven to 160/170. Beat eggs, sugar and rind together and then mix in cheese till all creamy. Set aside. Melt butter and add to crushed digestive. Place this mixture to the bottom of baking pan, even it out. Then place half the blueberries on the base of digestives. Now pour over cheese mixture. Arrange the remaining blueberries in a nice pattern on top of the cheese mixture. Don’t push the blueberries all the way through the cheese mixture. Cook for 25/30 min. You want it to have a very very slight wobble when you take it out the oven. Leave to cool and put in the fridge for at least 12 hours before serving.