This is the ultimate dinner party dish. All the elements can be cooked well in advance and put together at the very last minute. Adding the feta is sure to win you serious accolades, as it is an original addition in a dessert and completely delicious. When fresh cherries are not in season you can easily use frozen.
- 100 g feta
- 300 g cream cheese
- 40 g caster sugar
- finely grated zest of 1 medium lemon
- 130 ml double cream
- 90 g fresh blackberries (or de-frosted frozen blackberries, if out of season)
- 30 ml olive oil, for drizzling
- 100 g blanched almonds, roughly chopped
- 50 g cold unsalted butter, diced
- 50 g wholemeal flour
- 25 g plain flour
- 50 g brown sugar
- 1 tbsp black sesame seeds
- ¼ tsp salt
- 600 g frozen pitted cherries, defrosted
- 90 g caster sugar
- 4 whole star anise
- 4 strips orange skin
- 60 ml Orange liqueur (Cointreau or Grand Marnier)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Chilling time 2 hours (or overnight)
Use a spatula to break down the feta to be as smooth as possible. Whisk in the cream cheese, sugar and lemon zest. Place the cream in a separate bowl and whip until soft peaks form. Fold half of the whipped cream into the cream cheese and feta mix followed by the second half. Be careful not to over mix. Leave to set in the fridge for at least 2 hours but preferably overnight. The mixture will last up to 3 days in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 180°C.
Place the almonds, both flours and sugar in a large bowl. Use your hands to rub in the butter until a crumb-like consistency forms. Stir through the sugar, sesame seeds and salt. Spread out on a baking tray and cook for about 12 minutes, until golden brown.
Place the cherries, sugar, star anise and orange peel in a medium saucepan and place on a medium-high heat. Bring to the boil and simmer for between 10 to 15 minutes, until the sauce has thickened. Add the orange liqueur and simmer for a further 2 minute. The sauce will become thicker as it cools down.
Once the cherry compote has cooled to room temperature you are ready to serve. For one portion, spoon out a large scoop of cheesecake onto a plate, top with plenty of the crumble, lots compote, more crumble, some fresh blackberries and finish with a drizzle of olive oil.
View all the recipes from Ottolenghi's Mediterranean Island Feast.