Wherever I’ve lived I’ve been fascinated at how nature subtly indicates the change of the season, before we actually realise the obvious. Pre-spring is one of my favourite times – it’s really a term I made up for that time of the year when you start noticing the light changing ever so slightly, daffodils in small patches here and there, and the odd jasmine shrub getting ready to put on a show.
It’s awesome cycling around and noticing the small changes everyday, knowing that the real spring – and summer aren’t too far away now! These are some small signs from my garden.
Another sign of the season – tamarilloes in the markets. I am absolutely seduced by them. Their strange tropical tomatoey taste, their bright red skins and dramatically contrasting yellow and black interiors. They are always quite expensive but I believe its drawing towards the end of their season now, and prices have come down slightly, allowing for a home experiment, and to see how well they pair with a creamy coconut cheesecake.
Rather well, actually. I made these in two small springform tins – they’d make a great dessert to share.
Coconut cheesecake with poached tamarillo
30g dessicated coconut
25g raw caster sugar
40g + 40g butter, soft
300g cream cheese
75g smooth cottage cheese
40g palm sugar
40g raw caster sugar
1 and a half eggs (beat 3 together then only use half of the mix)
100ml coconut cream
juice of half a lime
2 tamarilloes poached in a verjuice & sugar mixture
Mix all the base ingredients together with the first 40g of butter, brown all of this on a tray in a moderate oven. When brown, cool, then process with the other 40g of butter until crumb-y. Grease and line your molds and press the mix into the bases of each.
Mix together the cheeses, sugars and eggs, add the coconut cream and lime juice, pour this over the bases and cook in a 160C oven for 20 minutes. It will be slightly wobbly in the centre. Cool down and chill further in the fridge. Serve with the tamarilloes.