By Roger Hickman
150g of Hobnob Biscuits
75g of pistachios
25g of butter
15g of olive oil
A pinch of Maldon sea salt
170g of double cream, whipped to soft peaks
2 sheets of bronze leaf gelatine
160g of caster sugar
25g of lemon juice
25g of yuzu juice or lime juice
300g of Philadelphia cheese
225g of mascarpone
1tsp of vanilla paste, or the seeds from half a vanilla pod
Zest of one lemon
500g of plum purée
125ml of stock syrup, made by dissolving 100g of sugar in 50g of water
10g of glucose
For the poached plums
6 plums, stoned and cut in half
400ml of stock syrup, made by dissolving 300g of sugar in 150ml of water
Zest and juice of one lemon
½ a vanilla pod or ½ tsp of vanilla paste
50ml of dessert wine
Blitz the biscuits and pistachios in a food processor together. Melt the butter and add this, together with the olive oil and a small pinch of Maldon sea salt.
Line a small baking tray with baking parchment. Spray the tray with a cooking spray so that the baking parchment sticks to it, securely. Line the bottom of the tray with the biscuit mix and then freeze – this is to speed up the process of it setting and to ensure the cheesecake mix will set better.
Soak the gelatine in cold water for at least 10 minutes. Mix the Philadelphia, vanilla and mascarpone together then set to one side.
Put the sugar in a pan and cover with the lemon and yuzu/lime juice. Mix together to form a thick paste; clean the sides of the pan if the mix has gone up the sides of the pan. Bring to the boil to dissolve the sugar, boiling for at least 2 minutes, to ensure that the acidity in the lemon juice has been neutralized, otherwise this will affect the mix not setting.
Take the pan off the heat, let it cool down for a minute, and then squeeze out the excess moisture from the gelatine and add this to the hot sugar syrup.
Let the syrup cool slightly, then add this to the mascarpone mix. Fold in the whipped cream and te lemon zest and whisk, if there are any lumps in the mix, until it is smooth (if the mix isn’t smooth then it will not set evenly). Pour into the pre prepared tray with the biscuit mix, levelling the top with a palette knife.
Put the cheesecake back into the freezer; it should set in 2 to 3 hours. To test, insert a cocktail stick into the mix; if it comes out clean and the mix is hard then it is set.
For the plum sorbet
Boil the stock syrup and glucose together then add this to the purée. Cool over ice. Once the sorbet mix is cold, churn in an ice cream maker.
For the poached plums
Bring everything, apart from the plums, to the boil, then allow to cool just slightly. Put the plums in a tray, and pour over the liquid. Cover with cling film and allow to cool.
The leftover liquor can be kept in the fridge for a month and used for future use.
To assemble the dish
Take the cheesecake out of the freezer and remove the baking parchment. Blow torch the top, this gives a nice flavour and is good for presentation. Then let it stand for 10 minutes so that the cheesecake has a chance to come to room temperature.
Place a portion of cheesecake on the plate, and put two poached plum halves on the plate. Add a quenelle of plum sorbet, resting on a small pile of blitzed pistachios.