Divine Cheesecake Pots with Plum Compote, perfect for entertaining.
You may have noticed my sporadic presence online over this summer and I think I must, unfortunately, now call an end to what was nicknamed a “summer break” but was more a sofa-slumped summer due to the soggy weather which prevailed. I kept waiting for the hot summer sun to beckon me into one of my new summer dresses but, much to my husband’s dismay when he saw the credit card bill, they all remain unworn, hanging limply in the wardrobe waiting for better luck next year.
And so before I knew it, plums have come into season and the farmers markets are now a celebration of autumnal red, yellow and green.
The beginning of autumn also signals the release of many new cookbooks, their publication often intended to provide gift-wrapped inspiration for the coming Christmas season. But with Christmas seemingly too far off in the distance for me, I frequently find myself indulging in a new cookbook or two at this time of the year. One such anticipated purchase has been Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi.
Having enjoyed the recipes from Ottolenghi’s earlier vegetarian cookbook, Plenty, I was anxious to be enticed and inspired by some new recipes, but was instead surprised that the first recipe to really catch my attention was this Set Cheesecake with Plum Compote. I’m always impartial to a cheesecake for dessert, and because I can never seem to make a baked cheesecake work, the no-bake versions appeal to me even more.
Whilst the plum compote makes this dessert suitably autumnal, the star of this dish is the toasted crumble topping, comprised of crushed hazelnuts and black sesame seeds (also called Nigella seeds or kalonji), which lends the requisite crunch and nubbly texture to this dish.
This cheesecake is actually a deconstructed cheesecake, although a bit more upmarket than the Cheesecake Pots with Passionfruit & Raspberries which I have previously posted on this blog. I find Ottolenghi’s version to be quite rich, so a little goes a long way. To this end, I prefer to serve a few small scoops of cheesecake mixture per bowl, and to let guests help themselves at the table to as much compote and crumble as they like.
In the short time that I’ve owned this book, I’ve made this cheesecake so often that I’m already starting to think about what other fruits would go well once the plum season comes to an end. The cheesecake mixture needs about 24 hours to set in the fridge, and both the crumble and compote keep well for several days. This means it is the perfect dessert to make well ahead of time if you have guests coming over.
This recipe for Set Cheesecake with Plum Compote is a variation of a version served with greengage compote which Ottolenghi posted in his column for The Guardian and which you can find here.Print
Cheesecake Pots with Plum Compote
- Prep Time: 30 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 1 hour
- Yield: Serves 6 to 8
Recipe adapted from Plenty More by Yotam Ottolenghi.
For the Cheesecake Pots
- 400 g cream cheese
- 200 g mascarpone cheese
- 100 g (1/2 cup) caster sugar
- 200 ml (3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon) double cream (heavy cream)
- zest of 1 lemon
For the Plum Compote
- 500 g (1 lb) plums, stoned and cut into small cubes
- 25 g (2 tablespoons) caster sugar
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the Hazelnut Crumble
For the Cheescake Pots
- Place the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the flat paddle attachment, beat on medium speed until the mixture is soft and smooth.
- In a separate bowl, whisk the cream until soft peaks form.
- Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, together with the lemon zest.
- Transfer the cheesecake mixture to a large bowl, wrap with cling film, and leave in the fridge for about 24 hours.
For the Plum Compote
- Place the plums, sugar and lemon juice into a medium saucepan.
- Cook over medium heat for about 20-30 minutes, or until the plums have broken down and the mixture has thickened. The consistency should be a little runnier than jam (it will also thicken as it cools).
- If the compote looks too thick, add a dash of water.
- Set the plum compote aside to cool completely before serving.
For the Hazelnut Crumble
- Preheat the oven to 190°C (370°F).
- Place the flour, sugar, butter and 1/2 teaspoon salt into the bowl of a stand mixer. Using the flat paddle attachment, beat on low speed until the mixture resembles crumbly wet sand.
- Stir through the hazelnuts and sesame seeds.
- Spread the mixture out onto a baking tray.
- Bake for 10-15 minutes, or until the crumble is lightly golden.
- Set the crumble aside to cool completely before serving.
- Spoon the cheesecake mixture into some glass bowls. Add a dollop of fruit compote to the side, followed by a generous sprinkle of the crumble topping.
- I like to place a large bowl of the crumble at the table to allow guests to help themselves to more.
All recipes on this website state temperatures for a regular oven (i.e. a conventional oven without fan). If you have a convection oven with a fan, please consult the manufacturer’s handbook on how to adjust the temperature and baking time accordingly.
To convert from cups to grams, and vice-versa, please see this handy Conversion Chart for Basic Ingredients.
- Serving Size: Serves 6 to 8
- Calories: 387
- Sugar: 15.9g
- Sodium: 241.6mg
- Fat: 33.9g
- Carbohydrates: 17.2g
- Fiber: 0g
- Protein: 5.2g
- Cholesterol: 101mg