Traveling alone can be hit or miss in terms of the company you keep. (Read my rant on 22-year-old Australian backpackers here.) So I was pleasantly surprised when I came away from my trip to San Sebastian with some truly amazing new friends.
Halfway through my trip I decided to venture up to the French Basque country just across the border. After an unfortunate bus journey from Biarritz to Bayonne, where I had accidentally booked my hotel, I ventured down to Ascain where Susan Creamer, the COO of San Sebastian Food, invited me to a traditional Irish Sunday roast at her home.
It’s always a treat to get to step into someone’s home when traveling. And our 9 hour lunch under her fig tree was a particularly sweet taste of Susan’s world. We drank Rioja and Irish coffees and pisco sours and talked all about food and Basque living. Susan’s best advice: I should find a nice Basque boy and marry him immediately. Which made me think she was not only an Irish transplant in Spain, but also Jewish.
The whole cast of characters from San Sebastian Food joined us at the table. We put our heads together to come up with this gluten-free cheesecake recipe using fresh figs, which should just be coming into their own in Susan’s backyard.
I’m so thrilled to share this cheesecake recipe.
Gluten-Free Cheesecake with Fresh Figs and Honey
For the base:
- 6 ounces crushed gluten-free cookies (150 gr)
- 4 ounces mascarpone cheese (125 gr)
- 3 tablespoons butter (40 gr) melted
For the cake:
- 1 pound soft cream cheese (500 gr) at room temperature
- sugar (125 gr)
- 6 ounces cream (200 ml)
- 2 ounces mascarpone cheese (50 gr)
- 1 tablespoon of gelatin (4 sheets)
- 8 fresh figs halved
- ¼ cup organic honey
In a medium mixing bowl combine the crushed cookies, mascarpone and butter. Mix them until a dough comes together. Press the cookie mixture into the bottom of 9-inch springform pan.
In another mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sugar, cream and mascarpone and gently stir together.
In a small bowl cover the gelatin with just enough boiling water to cover. Add it to the cheese mixture.
Pour the cheese mixture on top of the base through a strainer and refrigerate it for at least 4 hours.
Arrange the raw figs on top and drizzle with the honey.