Piles of beautiful black-skinned figs have started to appear in the shops and I’ve been desperate to make use of them. I’ve been a big fan of figs ever since my friends parents let us spend a week at their house in France which happened to have a fig tree in the garden, covered in sweet, plump fruit. We greedily devoured them every morning with greek yoghurt during lazy breakfasts.
I was pretty sold on the idea of using them in a cheesecake but couldn’t decide if I wanted it to be sweet or savoury…so of course I made both! To be honest, I’m still none the wiser as to which one is better, I love them both. I’ll almost certainly be making more savoury cheesecakes in the future, they make a perfect starter or fancy lunch.
The savoury version has a slightly firmer texture and a lovely crumbly, oaty base. I should imagine that if you’re that way inclined you could switch the ricotta in it for some chevre. The sweet one has a wonderfully creamy texture and the rosemary is delicious with the figs and honey.
6 tbsp digestive biscuit crumbs
2 tbsp melted butter
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
3 tbsp digestive biscuit crumbs
3 tbsp oats
3 tbsp melted butter (the oats absorb a little more)
1 tbsp chopped rosemary
Basic filling mixture
150g cream cheese
75g ricotta cheese
3 small ripe figs
2-3 tbsp honey (depending on how much of a sweet tooth you have)
4 tbsp grated parmesan
Line a six hole muffin tin with muffin wrappers, I used silicone ones, which tend to be a bit sturdier.
Mix together all of the ingredients for the base of your chosen flavour. Press a heaped tablespoonful of the base mixture into each cavity of the muffin tin and place it in the fridge to chill and set whilst you make the filling. Pre heat the oven to 170°c .
Beat together both of the cheeses until they are really nice and smooth. Next beat in the egg. This will give you a simple cheesecake mixture that you can play around with. Stir in the honey for the sweet cheesecakes or the parmesan and black pepper for the savoury version.
Spoon the filling evenly over the bases and carefully place half a fig (cut side up) on top of each one. The filling should be thick enough to support it.
Place the tray into a larger deep tin (like a roasting tin) and fill that tin with boiling water. Put the cheesecakes in the oven and bake for 25-30 minutes. Once cooked they should still have a gentle wobble to them. Slightly open the oven door and leave them in there until totally cool. Transfer to the fridge to chill completely before serving. I like to drizzle the sweet ones with a little honey when I serve them.