These little organic figs I found in the local market on the weekend reminded me of a beautiful holiday to Lagos, Portugal, with one of my dearest friends. We would go for a jog along the harbour every morning and pick wild figs from the sides of the road on our way back to our hostel. They were small and dodgy looking and we had to be sure to cut them open and check for maggots before eating them (speaking from experience). But, the good ones were delicious and perfect with some greek yoghurt and berries before a day at the beach.
This is a different kind of baked cheesecake, not so heavy, creamy and cheesy, and a little lighter and fresher. It would be lovely served with some greek yogurt or vanilla ice-cream on the side. You could replace the figs with strawberries if you like.
150g digestive biscuits
1 tsp cinnamon
Big pinch of salt
80g butter, melted
Balsamic Fig Jam
12 small figs, roughly chopped
2 tbs balsamic glaze (click for recipe)
1/2-3/4 cup water
200g cream cheese
125g caster sugar
zest of 2 lemons
400g crème fraîche
4 tbs plain flour
4 fresh figs quartered
2 handfuls walnuts
3 tbs balsamic glaze
Extra balsamic glaze, to drizzle
Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Grease and line a spring form cake tin or slice tin.
Place the biscuits, walnuts, cinnamon and salt in a food processor. Process until fine crumbs. Add to a large bowl with the melted butter and mix to combine. Press into the base of the cake tin, using the back of a spoon to smooth it out. Place in the oven and bake for 10mins. Remove and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, for the balsamic fig jam, in a small saucepan, add the chopped figs, balsamic glaze and some of the water. Over medium heat, bring to the simmer, reduce to low and cook, stirring for about 20mins or until jam like in consistency, adding extra water if necessary. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, in a large bowl, combine the cream cheese with the caster sugar and lemon zest. Use electric beaters to beat until combined and fluffy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition, until combined. Add the crème fraîche and flour and continue to beat until combined and fluffy.
Spread the balsamic fig jam over the base. Top with the filling and spread out evenly. Place in the oven and cook, for 45-50mins. Until golden and firm on the edges.
Remove from oven and allow to cool. Place in the fridge and allow to cool for at least 4 hours.
To serve, heat the oven to 180 degrees celcius. Combine the walnuts with the balsamic glaze, spread onto a baking tray and bake, for about 10mins. Allow to cool.
Top the cheesecake with the balsamic walnuts, fresh figs and drizzle with extra balsamic glaze. Decorate with edible flowers if you like.