I know that you can get baked cheesecakes everywhere now, but I didn’t have my first one until I was sixteen, when I bought a slice from a small bakery in Eichstätt on a snowy morning and ate it straight from the paper bag. It was a very messy business, but totally magical.
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees and prepare a 20cm springform tin by putting tinfoil over the base, popping over the ring, then pulling the tinfoil up the outside of the tin. Sit the tin on top of a second bigger piece of tinfoil and pull it up so that it covers the whole of the outside of the tin.
Fill and boil your kettle.
Whoosh up 200g of digestives (or any other dry biscuits) in the processor. Add 80g soft (but not necessarily melted) butter and process until it feels like wet sand. Press evenly over the base of your tin. Place the tin in the fridge while you make the filling.
Quarter and roughly peel a juicy, soft peach and pop it in your already cleaned processor with the juice of two limes. Give it a really good blast, then add 150g sugar and whoosh again.
Now add 600g cream cheese (I used 400g Philadelphia and 200g mascarpone) and process until smooth, pushing down the mixture from the edges to ensure a good mix. Now add 4 whole eggs and one egg yolk and a teaspoon of vanilla extract. Whoosh again for about 20 seconds, again pushing down the mixture from the edges halfway through.
Pour this into your springform tin.
Optional: If you’d like a little zingy raspberry hit, take a tablespoon of raspberries and the juice of half a lime or lemon and process for a few seconds before swirling through your cheesecake. It won’t look tidy and impressive as it does in the shops, though, so don’t be disappointed.
Put the tin into a large roasting tray and surround it with some boiling water. Don’t make it so deep that it’s lethally turbulent as you transfer it to the oven. Bake for 30 minutes, then check and turn 180 degrees. I like it to brown a little, but if it’s going too far, cover with a very clean baking tray or tinfoil for a further 20 – 30 minutes. When there’s still a tiny wobble, take it out of the oven, out of the bain marie and leave it to cool. It will be much nicer on Day Two, so leave it be if you can.
Serve with roasted peaches (done in the same way as the nectarines: https://salutationrecipes.wordpress.com/2012/09/16/baked-nectarines-with-mascarpone/)