If any readers are also citric-acid intolerant, this cheesecake can be made without the lemon. This particular version was also lactose-free so that a lactose-intolerant family member could enjoy it too, but it can also be made with regular ingredients. (Not suitable for making with completely dairy-free ingredients as I don’t think there are dairy-free & soya-free cheese alternatives. I used Lactose-free philedelphia as the cheese base and the lacto-free brand of cream. I used Vitalite brand dairy free spread for the crust).
85g butter or dairy-free spread, melted
140g digestive biscuits, crumbled
3 x 170g tubs cream cheese (must be dairy based, can be regular cheese or lacto-free)
250g caster sugar
4 tbsp plain flour
1 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
zest & juice of 1 lemon (can be omitted if necessary)
3 medium eggs
250ml carton single cream (must be dairy based, can be regular single cream or lacto-free)
1. grease and line a suitable tin, either smaller & deeper or wider and more shallow. Melt the butter/spread, add the crushed biscuits and press into the base of the lined tin. (if you have used a larger tin, feel free to add a little more butter/spread and crushed biscuits in order to cover successfully). Leave to one side.
2. to make the filling, start by blending the cream cheese with the sugar to break it up and help it to become more creamy. use a wooden spoon or spatula for this.
3. as soon as the cheese starts to blend, add the remaining filling ingredients, mix briefly with the spatula/spoon so as to dampen down the flour and stop it flying everywhere, then start using a whisk.
4. whisk everything thoroughly until the filling is completely smooth and even. pour over the biscuit base and put in an oven at about 150 degrees celsius for between 30 minutes & an hour, depending on where you have it in the oven and how precise your oven temperature is.
5. it is cooked when it feels firm to a light touch, the sides of the cheesecake are browned and feel completely set and there is a slight wobble in the centre.
6. leave to cool completely in the tin, otherwise there is a danger of it collapsing when you take it out! Once cooled, take it carefully from the tin, leaving the greaseproof paper on the base as shown in picture two.
7. provide hungry teenagers with spoons and be careful of your fingers as they swoop in and devour (be warned, if you want a picture of your whole, finished cheesecake so as to post it on facebook, you might have to lock them out of the kitchen!)