This plum chestnut fennel cheesecake is much more than what it sounds like. It has a shortbread crust flavoured with fennel seeds, a cream cheese and roasted chestnuts filling and a super refreshing plum sauce as topping. It is a true celebration of autumn and, of course, super tasty!
I never thought I’d love autumn so much…
I mean it! Autumn, aside from the fact that it’s my birthday, comes with a lot of disadvantages: cold(er) weather, start of school/university, end of the summer holiday. That was my sole opinion until this year. This year, thanks to my lovely local greengrocer Dig-In, I learned how to truly celebrate this autumn that, for chefs around the world, may be the most exciting season!
It’s easy to remember that when you live in a country like Romania, where, no matter where you go, you will come across an open market with the most fragrant and flavoursome produce. Here, in the UK, I don’t get to see that. Plus, anyway, let’s be honest, most fruits and veg from the supermarket don’t have any taste at all![twocol_one][/twocol_one] [twocol_one_last][/twocol_one_last]
Just smell them all!
Whenever I made something plum based, I used to buy supermarket plums at least two weeks before using them. It was the only way they would ripen a bit. But thankfully this cute little shop reminded me that fruits and veg can also be fragrant and flavoursome in the UK as well.
I know I’ve been bragging a lot about it lately, but honestly, since I’ve started buying my fruit and veg at Dig-In, I’ve truly embraced autumn and feel a little bit more like the aspiring home chef that I wish to someday become. Being able to smell, see and touch the mud on freshly harvested beetroots or carrots, honestly, makes me really happy! Plus, I can always find fruits that are actually ripe and sweet.
As sweet as sour plums
Basically, if you wish to make this cheesecake, you will need to take into account one thing: I don’t make very sweet desserts. The plum sauce contains two spoons of sugar. This means that if you won’t get really ripe and sweet plums, the whole dessert might end up tasting super sour.
- 1 1/2 cups of flour
- 1/2 cup of sugar
- 1 egg
- pinch of salt
- 100g butter
- 1 tbsp fennel seeds, ground
- 2 tbsp milk
- 4 eggs
- 500g cream cheese
- 150g cooked and peeled chestnuts
- 1/4 cup of sugar
- 500g very ripe plums, chopped
- 2 tbsp sugar
- Some plums for decorating
- Preheat the oven at 180ºC.
- Start by making the dough by mixing all the ingredients in a bowl.
- Once done, place it in the freezer for 10 minutes.
- Take it out, roll it out in your (greased and floured) cheesecake tray. It should be about 1cm thick. Any excess you may have, place it on a separate tray and cook it like normal shortbread. You will be using that to sprinkle and decorate the cake at the end.
- Bake it for 20 minutes, until golden.
- In the meantime add the filling ingredients to a food processor and make sure everything it thoroughly mixed.
- Once the dough is ready, add the filling to it and bake the cake for an additional 45 minutes at 170ºC.
- Prepare the plum sauce by cooking the plums with the sugar on low heat for about 20 minutes, stirring all the time.
- Once the cake is done, let it cool (preferably over night in the fridge), then coat it with the plum sauce.
- Finally, decorate it with some plums and some of the crushed fennel shortbread.
- Serve cold and enjoy!