A summer pud offering
What a busy month May has been! Bracketed as it is by two bank holidays and in between them we celebrated: Ian's birthday; the anniversary of the day we took over Broad Bean; the Ludlow Spring Food Fair, a royal wedding AND it's been sunny for a change, phew!
This month's recipe celebrates my love of local food and is an offering to the gods for more sun! I've created a unique summer cheesecake recipe using Billington’s Gingerbread biscuits.
they are moreish..."
We stumbled across Billington's Gingerbread by chance. We ordered a few boxes to sample and to decide whether we could add to our stock. A traditional and recommended way to eat these biscuits is to dip them in port. A bit unusual to our minds but we tried it anyway and found the pairing amazing.
Happily, Billington’s Gingerbread biscuits are now found in our shop. They are truly a delicious biscuit, mildly spicy, full of ginger flavour and come packaged like a lasagne sheet. You can break off as much as you need but be warned: they are very moreish.
These biscuits are produced in Market Drayton and Billington’s is a part of Shropshire history, with the secret gingerbread recipe in use since 1817. Currently, they can be found only at limited stockists but I predict this will change once word gets around about how great they are.
The tasty combination of the flavours of port and gingerbread was my inspiration for the recipe this month. It reminds me of my sought after Christmas trifle, which I make from an old WI recipe book, and calls for whisking cream and port together for the top layer.
I rejigged the recipe and came up with a lovely creamy, port-infused cheesecake on top of a gingerbread base. To keep the refined sugar level low, I used maple syrup. Finally, as with most great puddings, it’s best made in advance, because it tastes even better the longer flavours are left to mingle.
Billington's Gingerbread and Dunkin' Port Cheesecake (Serves 8)
200g Billington's gingerbread (Two boxes with some remaining if you have the super power to restrain yourself!)
75g unsalted butter
300g cream cheese
250ml double cream (we use Mawley Milk, a local diary with great cream and milk, which we stock)
100ml maple syrup
100ml port ( I used Tanners port from Broad Bean. Bentleys in Ludlow also carry a wide range)
juice of 1/2 lemon or 1 tbsp Lazy Lemon
23 cm flan dish, loose bottom is best
1. Bash the biscuits in a bag with a rolling pin, until they are like fine breadcrumbs. You can also use a food processor, but it’s not nearly as much fun.
2. Melt the butter on a low heat and stir in the crushed biscuits until they are combined
3. Press the mixture into the base of the tin, spreading it out until it covers the base yes). Place the tin in the fridge to chill while you make the topping for the cheesecake.
4. Break up the cream cheese and whisk in the maple syrup until just combined.
5. Add port and lemon juice to a large bowl and then add the cream, if you don’t want a strong port flavour simply halve the port and lemon measurements.
6. Whisk the port and cream until combined and begins to thicken, tip in the cream cheese and slowly whisk again until it is all mixed thoroughly.
7. Pour this mixture onto the chilled base and smooth it flat. Chill for at least two to three hours, or preferably, overnight if you can bear the wait!
8. Serve up your summer pud to the Gods.