My mother’s filthy cheesecake

I never really appreciated this recipe as a child. What I now recognise as a wonderful firm, velvet texture was chalky and bland to me then (and part of a general dislike of anything ‘creamy’). The genius of the recipe is that it uses good old jelly in place of faffing about with gelatin – hence the ‘filthy’ epithet.

The recipe I wrote down on my last trip home was specifically for an orange version of this, complete with tinned mandarins on top. Yes, I am a child of the 70s. After fiddling around with it, it’s become lime instead.


  • 225g digestive biscuits
  • 170g melted butter
  • 1 packet lime jelly
  • juice and zest of 2 limes and 1 orange (to make up 150ml of liquid)
  • 225g philadelphia cheese
  • 55g caster sugar
  • small carton vanilla yoghurt
  • 300ml cream (a standard 284ml carton would be fine)
  • Dark chocolate for grating


  1. Batter the digestives into submission inside a sturdy Ziploc bag, using a rolling pin. Empty into a bowl and pour over the melted butter, mix evenly. Press this into the bottom of a springform tin and put into the fridge to chill.
  2. Heat up the lemon and orange juice in a small saucepan, then add the block of jelly and melt over gentle heat.
  3. Using a food processor, whizz together the cheese, sugar, yoghurt and melted jelly.
  4. Whip the cream lightly and fold it into the mixture. Pour it into the prepped tin.
  5. Allow to set in the fridge. Before serving, remove it from the fridge for 30 minutes. Run a knife around the inside edge to loosen it before removing the springform collar. Grate dark chocolate over the top.

If you’d like a sharper taste, use only lime juice for the 1/4 pint of liquid needed to make up the jelly.

Also I notice in many cheese cake recipes a suggestion to use softened, rather than melted butter, and to pulverise it together with the crumbed biscuits in a food processor. I’ll be trying that next time. I’ve made a thicker base, you could easily reduce the amounts by a third which might be better balanced. But when it comes to cheesecake, it’s hardly about balance, right?