Double-baked Christmas cheesecake


  • Serves 12 people

This cheesecake can be baked in the morning and served at room temperature in the afternoon, or baked the day before and chilled overnight.

  • 150 gm each raisins and sultanas
  • 175 ml brandy or Armagnac
  • 10 eggs
  • 550 gm (2½ cups) caster sugar
  • 250 ml (1 cup) lemon juice, plus finely grated rind of 2 lemons
  • 1 kg good-quality firm ricotta
  • For greasing: butter
  • For dusting: plain flour
  • 300 gm sour cream
  • 1 vanilla bean, split
  • 300 gm goat’s curd
01   Combine raisins and sultanas in a small saucepan with 190ml water. Bring to the boil, then remove from heat, drain well and pour brandy or Armagnac over, then stand to steep (1 hour-overnight).
02   Preheat oven to 180C. Process eggs, 440gm caster sugar, lemon juice, lemon rind and ricotta in a food processor until smooth. Pour into a buttered and floured 22.5cm x 33cm baking dish. Strain three-quarters of the steeped raisins and sultanas (reserve remaining) and scatter over ricotta mixture, then bake until puffed and golden (45-55 minutes). Remove from oven and stand for 15 minutes while you prepare the topping.
03   Increase oven to 220C. Combine sour cream, vanilla bean and remaining sugar in a small saucepan over low heat and bring to a gentle simmer; do not boil. Remove vanilla bean and scrape seeds back into cream mixture (discard pod). Process mixture in a food processor with goat’s curd until smooth, then spoon evenly over baked ricotta. Bake until just starting to colour (15-20 minutes). Cool to room temperature and serve topped with reserved raisins and sultanas.
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