Tag Archives: Italian

Lemon Cheesecake

I love all things lemony and living here in Portugal lemons are plentiful year round with many trees producing the fruit continuously. The tree originated in Asia but is now synonymous with Mediterranean climates such as ours here in Portugal. The tree in my garden doesn’t produce fruit all year round but that doesn’t limit my free supply as they drop from neighbours trees in the village and roll down the road, arriving on my doorstep as welcome guests.

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With visitors from the village where we used to live in France and a basket full of lemons, I decided to make a lemon cheesecake that would be a good balance and cut the rich flavours of our main course – lamb shanks in red wine with figs.

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Lemon Cheesecake

Prep Time: 20 Mins Cooking Time: 2 Hours Total Time: 2 Hours 20 Mins

Ingredients:

  • 200g digestive biscuits, crushed finely
  • 100g of softened butter
  • 397g condensed milk
  • 300g soft cheese like Mascarpone
  • Juice and zest of 2 lemons
  • 3 tablespoons of lemon curd
  • Extra lemon zest to garnish
  • Fruits such as blueberries, raspberries and blackberries
  • Pouring cream (optional)
  • 20 cm loose bottom cake tin

Directions:

  1. Crush the digestive biscuits and mix thoroughly with the softened butter.
  2. Line the bottom of the cake tin with baking paper and butter the sides.
  3. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the tin and refrigerate for 15 minutes.
  4. In a bowl mix the condensed milk and soft cheese with a whisk.
  5. Add the juice and zest of 2 lemons. This will thicken the mixture.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. Release the cake tin and put on a plate.
  7. Add a teaspoon of warm water to the lemon curd and spread over the top.
  8. Decorate the top with the fresh fruits and garnish with the extra lemon zest.
  9. Serve with cream (optional)

Easy-Peasy Twirly-Wurly Chicken Pasta

This is an easy-peasy delicious evening meal. I’ve made it with unusual ‘twirly wurly’  coloured pasta which children love! There are no hard and fast ingredients as far as vegetable choice goes. I used five of my favourite – chopped and sliced – onion, leek, celery, garlic and Italian red pepper. Put 3 tablespoons of a good olive oil into a pan and add the vegetables apart from the garlic. Cook on a medium heat to soften. Season with salt and pepper. Add a ‘glug’ of white Vermouth and allow the flavours to combine – 5 minutes. At this point, I added the garlic and  some smoked lardons and the sliced chicken breasts (1 per person). Cook through thoroughly.  Boil the pasta. When the pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the chicken/vegetable sauce. Take the pan off the heat and mix through a 100ml of cream. Serve with freshly chopped basil and flakes of Parmesan cheese. A great addition would be mushrooms! Alas, on this occasion I was cooking for children with an aversion to this delicious funghi! For the adults, I dizzled a little sweetened Balsamic vinegar. Simple and yummilicious!