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Autumn Baked Cheesecake

If like me you are inundated with the beautiful Autumnal fruits quince and tamarillo at the moment; I have a light and fluffy baked cheesecake recipe to share with you which is to die for.

These two unusual fruits combined together make a heavenly puree which turns a light and fluffy baked cheesecake into angel food. Smooth, fruity, creamy with a hint of nut crunch perfect for pudding or tea time treat.

Tamarillo's or tree tomatoes are tangy and a little acidic with a beautiful staining deep red colour. Native to South America but grow amazingly well in New Zealand, we like to think of them as our own. In fact the name Tamarillo was made up here in NZ in the late 60's to differentiate them from regular tomatoes. They make an addictive chutney and are delicious eaten straight from a spoon or sprinkled with brown sugar. I like to add them to salads in place of tomatoes at this time of the year.

Quinces look like a large yellow pear and are inedible before cooking; so don't try and take a bite! But after cooking by either stewing, poaching, braising or even roasting they turn a beautiful pink colour and have a musky rose flavour. They have a high pectin content and are best known for quince paste which is perfect for a cheese board. The two fruits complement each other beautifully giving a pretty pink topping to this yummy cheesecake. It is also delicious stirred through thick yoghurt or to top chia puddings or porridge.

This baked cheesecake has a homemade biscuit base like shortbread with macadamia nuts ground into it. So tasty. The topping options for cheesecakes are endless and if you don't have quinces or tamarillo's pear, apple and feijoa substitute nicely into this recipe.


~Recipe from The Veggie Tree Autumn and Winter Cookbook~

Makes 1x26cm cake

I use my mixer to make this cake, as you need to beat the egg and unrefined sugar for a good while to get it light and airy.

Line a spring form cake tin with baking paper. Preheat your oven to 160ºC. Using the paddle attachment, cream together:

175g butter, softened

115g unrefined cane sugar

Add and mix on a slow speed until it just comes together:

1 c (100g) plain flour

1/3 c (50g) rice flour

1/3 c (50g) cornflour

1/2 c (100g) macadamia nuts, coarsely ground

Push into the lined tin, making sure it’s even. Prick with a fork and bake for 20 minutes while you make the filling.

Clean the bowl and paddle, then re-assemble the mixer and add:

370g cream cheese, at room temperature

350g ricotta

1/4 c (60g) liquid honey

Beat together until smooth, then scrape into a large bowl. Change to the whisk attachment and add to the mixer:

6 eggs

1 c (250g) unrefined cane sugar

1 tsp vanilla paste

Whisk together on a medium-high speed until light and fluffy. It will take about 10 minutes. Then tip half of the egg mix into the cream cheese mix.

In a separate small bowl, mix together:

2 T cornflour

2 T water

Add to the cheesecake mixture and whisk until smooth. Carefully fold in the rest of the egg mix – you don’t want to beat out the air.

Remove the base from the oven; it should be set on the top but not coloured. Pour in the filling and return to the oven. Bake for 1 hour 40 minutes. It should be set but still have a little wobble.

To make the topping, peel and core:

2 quinces

Cut the fruit into small pieces, put in a pot and cover with water and cook until soft. Add:

juice and zest of 1 lemon

3 tamarillos, flesh scooped out

1/2 c (125g) unrefined cane sugar

Simmer and stir for 10 minutes, then take off the heat to cool down. When cooled, whizz it together in a mini blender or mash well.

When the cheesecake is cold, remove the outside part of the spring form tin, leaving the base on. Chill for around 1 hour to set before transferring the cheesecake to a serving plate. Top with the cooled fruit purée.

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