Damsons are plentiful at this time of year, especially in Shropshire! We recommend using the Shropshire Prune which has distinctive & astringent richness which makes it a versatile fruit for culinary purposes.
To make the Damson topping
- Put the damsons (or cherries/blackberries) and spices in a pan with 200ml water. Bring to a simmer and cook gently, stirring regularly, for 10-15 minutes, until the fruit has collapsed and the stones have come free.
- Tip into a sieve and rub through with a wooden spoon to remove the stones, skins and spices. Sweeten the damson purée by whisking in sugar to taste – how much sugar you need will depend on the tartness of the fruit and your personal taste – and leave to cool.
To make the Cheesecake
- Remove the Billington’s Gingerbread out of its packaging and into a sealed. Plastic bag. With a rolling pin, smash the bisuits to make a crumb.
- Mix together the Billington’s Gingerbread biscuit crumbs and Demerara sugar. Add in the melted butter and mix well.
- Spoon the biscuit mixture into a 20cm spring-form cake tin lined with baking paper. Use a metal spoon to press the biscuit crumbs down firmly and evenly. Chill in the refrigerator until set.
- In a large mixing bowl, using a whisk or a wooden spoon, beat together the cream cheese, icing sugar and vanilla pod seeds or vanilla extract until well mixed.
- Fold in the double cream, mixing well.
- Spoon the cream mixture over the chilled biscuit base, making sure that there are no air bubbles. Smooth the top of the cheesecake with a palette knife or metal spoon. Add the damson topping to cover the cheesecake.
- Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for 1 hour until set.
- To serve, remove from the cake tin and cut into slices.