Wowzas, I found the COVID-19 isolation hard. Not being able to spend time with my parents or neighbours, especially on special occasions or the weekends was particularly challenging for me. Social distancing at the shops felt stressful and unnatural, and I generally felt restrained.
Yet, I am grateful. Grateful that it forced me to the beach more than I would normally go. Grateful that it motivated me to run and play with my children, whereas usually, I would sit back chatting with other adults while they ran around with their mates.
Natural introverts, my eldest daughter and husband have flourished during this isolation period. It has provided uninterrupted create and playtime at home, and we’ve been able to work on projects we never get to like buying chickens and setting up a herb patch. I am grateful for this also—for the memories we’ve carved out and how restored they look as a result of this once in a century occurrence.
Nevertheless, when word came out that we could meet up again in groups of 10 we sussed out a visit to my parents straight up. My sister already lives at home and my mum contacted my brother to come down… it was on! I decided to spend the rest of my afternoon baking this celebratory Lemon Cheesecake I’d had my eye on to share together the next day. It’s hard to beat a homemade Lemon Cheesecake.
So off began my adventures in the kitchen! I crushed the biscuits in our small food processor and mixed through the melted butter. It seemed like rather a large amount for the tier-shaped tin I had but I pressed on. Everything went pretty straight-forwardly until I was pouring the jelly mixture into the biscuit shell. Only around half of it would fit! I had a couple of spare packets of biscuits, so rather than chuck out half the jelly mixture I decided to remake the shell and press it into a non-tiered tin.
I gave my eldest daughter the biscuit shell I was discarding and told her to take it outside to share with the kids playing on our front lawn. My husband gave it a try and commented on how buttery it was, so I gave it a try. Yuck—it was too full on! It was then that I realised I hadn’t measured the processed biscuits; I’d just estimated (badly) the amounts. This had caused the butter to biscuit ratio to be incorrect and the shell was in fact too buttery. When I actually measured out the crushed biscuits, it took more like 2+ packets to equal 4 cups rather than the 1 packet I had used in my first round.
My sweet husband took a drive to the local shops to pick up an extra packet of biscuits and decided to pick up some Gingernut biscuits rather than the Granita ones I had been using. I ended up using a mixture of Granita biscuits I already had and the Gingernut biscuits my husband picked up from the shops. It was an improvement on the original plain Granitas as they are quite plain and not that sweet. They ended up complementing the Gingernuts, toning down the sweetness and ginger factor of the Gingernuts. My initial mistake of using the wrong tin proved to be a happy one!
The only issue that resulted from redoing the shell was the jelly mixture had begun to set a little bit and this created some little air bubbles when I eventually poured it into the new base. You can see from the pics that this occurred. I’m not sure whether the look might have been improved if I’d tried to smooth it out with a paddle, but aside from those tiny bubbles, it had no other effect on the texture.
Finally, the next day came and off we went to my parents. I wanted to pretty the cake up with some flowers to make the day extra celebratory, but unfortunately, my folks didn’t have any of the edible violets that I thought they had in their garden. Instead, we used some inedible, but harmless Geraldton Wax flowers to give me the look I wanted. It did end up looking good but had to be pulled off before we ate.
My grandma’s recipe managed to make enough to feed us all and then some! Definitely a celebratory Lemon Cheesecake if you ask me. My Cheesecake connoisseur husband tipped his head in approval to this one, as did everyone else. The only criticism was that some people found the base too full-on, so you could reduce the amounts of butter and biscuits if you want a lighter base. I’m partial to a full-on Cheesecake base so there were no complaints from me!
If you take note of the few little things you need to be aware of with this recipe you’re up for making a winner. Indulgent, celebratory, lemony Cheesecake goodness that helps us to remember to be grateful for the little things. Little (big) things like visiting loved ones and enjoying good health. I hope you feel the easing-up isolation joy as you make this generous beauty!
- 4 cups crushed sweet biscuits
- 8oz. (225grams) Melted butter
- 1 pkt lemon jelly
- ¾ cup boiling water
- 1½ cups or 1 can evaporated milk
- 1 cup castor sugar
- 1 dessertspoon grated lemon rind
- ¼ cup lemon juice
- ½ tsp vanilla
- 16oz. (460gram) Packet creamed cheese
- Combine crushed biscuits and melted butter.
- Press into a lined 9in. (23cm.) tart or pie tin. Refrigerate.
- Dissolve jelly, add juice and rind of lemon.
- Blend in sugar, vanilla and evaporated milk.
- Fold in jelly mixture and pour into biscuit shell.
- Chill overnight. Enjoy!