My relationship with grapefruit has greatly improved over the years, and I’ve come to love and appreciate its refreshing tartness. While it has firmly cemented its position as one of my breakfast staples, its sharpness brings some much needed balance to rich and creamy desserts, too, such as this coconut cheesecake.
Grapefruit and coconut cheesecake
Prep 40 min
Cook 1 hr 35 min
Chill 2 hr+
For the base
175g digestive biscuits
60g desiccated coconut
100g unsalted butter, melted
For the filling
600g cream cheese, at room temperature
150g caster sugar
Zest of 1 pink grapefruit
1½ tsp vanilla extract
160ml full-fat coconut milk
For the topping
1½ tbsp caster sugar
60ml orange juice
200ml double cream
½ tbsp icing sugar
1 handful flaked coconut, toasted
Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4. Grease a 20cm spring-form tin and line the base with baking paper.
Crush the biscuits in a food processor until fine, then stir in the coconut and melted butter. Press the mixture firmly into the base of the tin, and bake for 15 minutes. Remove, turn down the oven temperature to 110C (90C fan)/225F/gas ¼ and leave the base to cool while you make the filling.
In a bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar and grapefruit zest until smooth. Stir in the cornflour, then mix in the eggs one at a time. Stir in the vanilla and coconut milk until smooth, then pour into the tin. Bake for 70-80 minutes, until there is just a slight wobble in the centre of the cheesecake.
Turn off the oven and, with the door slightly ajar, leave the cheesecake inside to cool completely (this will prevent it cracking). Once cooled, run a spatula around the edge of the cake, then unclip the tin and transfer the cheesecake to the fridge to chill for a few hours.
To make the topping, slice off the top and bottom of the grapefruit, then, using a small, sharp knife and following the curve of the fruit, pare off the peel and pith. Cut between the membranes to release the whole segments, put these in a bowl with the sugar and orange juice, give it a quick stir and leave to macerate while the cheesecake is chilling.
To serve, whip the double cream and icing sugar to soft peaks, then spoon on top of the chilled cheesecake. Top with the grapefruit segments and toasted coconut flakes.
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