Making one-dish sweets with the very first 'Great British Baking Show' winner
Edd Kimber won the first season of "The Great British Baking Show" in 2010 with buns, cookies, pastries, ladyfingers and a lemon souffle, but he knows not every home baker wants to spent 2 1/2 hours making a petit fours worthy of a handshake from Paul Hollywood.
Kimber's new book "One Tin Bakes: Sweet and Simple Traybakes, Pies, Bars and Buns" (Kyle Books, $22.99) sits in that sweet spot for home cooks who have little baking know-how (or gear) and better-than-average bakers who want to try some new techniques to make fancy-ish desserts, like homemade Pop-Tarts or grapefruit meringue.
Most recipes call for at least one bowl, but the idea is that each recipe — brownies, cinnamon rolls, shortcakes, birthday cakes, icebox cakes, ice cream sandwiches, focaccia — can be prepared in a single 9-inch-by-13-inch baking dish.
I've made a million Key lime pies in my life, but never in a rectangular pan a la lemon bars. (And his includes a speculoos cookie crust.) Kimber's book includes a few British and European treats that might be familiar to many Americans, such as a slab version of the regional British handheld pastry called an Eccles cake or the vanilla custard slices that his twin used to order all the time when they were kids.
These raspberry cheesecake streusel squares are a savory-sweet treat that's easy to gift to your neighbors. You could use any number of substitutes for the raspberries, including cherries, strawberries, figs or oranges. Use the same method of gently heating the jam and mixing with its corresponding fresh fruit. (Frozen fruit will hold too much water for this dish, so stick with fresh.)
If you're taking a break from cookies or want a solid baking book to give yourself or someone else this month, this book is an excellent option.
Raspberry Cheesecake Streusel Squares
Lemon-infused cheesecake bars topped with jammy raspberries would be wonderful just on their own, but I wanted to make something a little more impressive, so these are topped with oat streusel, adding great texture. While that might seem like you’re having to make another element, you actually just make a bigger batch of the base, keeping back a small amount and crumbling it over the cheesecake. I like these with a big mug of tea, cutting them into small squares for a little sweet treat, but if you prefer, you can cut them into more regular brownie-size pieces.
— Edd Kimber
For the streusel:
1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted, plus extra for greasing
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/4 cup rolled oats
For the cheesecake:
2 (8-ounce) packages full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons vanilla bean paste or extract
Finely grated zest of 2 lemons
2 large eggs
For the raspberry filling:
3 tablespoons raspberry jam
1 pint fresh raspberries
Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Lightly grease the baking tin, then line with a strip of parchment paper that overhangs the two long sides of the tin. Secure the paper in place with two metal clips, if you have them.
For the streusel, mix together the flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Gradually drizzle in the melted butter, stirring with a fork to combine until the mixture has formed clumps, then pour about 2/3 of the mixture into the prepared tin and spread out evenly. Use a drinking glass to compact it into a flat layer. Poke all over with a fork and then freeze for 10 minutes. Mix the remaining streusel with the oats and refrigerate until needed for the topping.
Bake the base for 20 minutes, or until just starting to brown, then remove and set aside.
To make the cheesecake, place all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix together until smooth and evenly combined. Pour the cheesecake mix evenly over the base.
For the filling, gently warm the jam in a pan until loose, then remove from the heat and mix with the raspberries, coating evenly. Dot the raspberry mixture over the cheesecake, then crumble the reserved streusel evenly over the top.
Bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until the streusel is lightly browned.
Leave to cool in the tin for an hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours, before cutting into squares to serve. Store in a sealed container in the refrigerator for 4 days. Makes 16 to 24 bars.
— From "One Tin Bakes: Sweet and simple traybakes, pies, bars and buns" by Edd Kimber (Kyle Books, $22.99)