This is based on my neighbours' recipe. They own the amazing Bowan Island Bakery, Sydney's original sourdough baker, and their cheesecake is an absolute stunner. Finger limes are the darlings of the fine dining scene, these tart little pearls of flesh burst in the mouth with fresh lime flavour. To remove the pearls, slice in half, squeeze then use a teaspoon to scoop out any remainders. Sold at Harris Farm Markets and some Coles and Woolworths.
250g Arnott's Butternut Snap biscuits
1½ tbsp wattleseeds*, ground (optional)
75g unsalted butter, melted
¼ cup water
3 tsp gelatine powder
250ml thickened cream
500g Philadelphia cream cheese
150g caster sugar
1½ tsp vanilla extract
2½ tbsp lemon myrtle powder**
1-2 finger limes, cut into 3mm slices, baked at 90C until crisp (30 minutes)
1-2 tbsp finger-lime caviar (about 2 finger limes)
extra lemon myrtle powder**, for sprinkling
small lemon myrtle leaves, optional
1. Turn the base of a 23cm springform tin upside down, grease and cover with a square sheet of baking paper with overhang, then clip the sides of the tin in place, with the paper corners sticking out. (Having the base upside down makes it easier to remove the finished cheesecake). Grease the sides of the tin and line with baking paper.
2. Put the water in a small bowl, sprinkle with gelatine, mix then leave for 5 minutes. It will solidify. Microwave to melt, then cool for 5 minutes.
3. Blitz biscuits in a food processor with wattleseeds (if using) until they are fine crumbs. Add butter and blitz briefly until it looks like wet sand. Press crumbs into the base of the tin.
4. To make the filling, whip the cream until stiff. In a separate bowl, beat the cream cheese with sugar until smooth and fluffy. Beat in the vanilla, lemon myrtle and gelatine mixture, then add the whipped cream and beat until just combined.
5. Pour the filling evenly over the base and put in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
6. When ready to serve, remove the sides of the tin and use the paper overhang to slide the paper out from under the cheesecake.
7. Decorate with crisp finger-lime slices, finger-lime caviar and an extra sprinkle of lemon myrtle powder. To serve, cut into wedges.
*These seeds have an earthy, roasted flavour reminiscent of coffee and chocolate. They're a good alternative to coffee in beverages and cocktails and are tasty in baked goods.
**One of the most popular native herbs, lemon myrtle has a herbal lemon-lime flavour and is sold in powder form. If you have your own tree, dry the leaves naturally or in a 50C oven for one hour, then grind to a fine powder.