To be totally honest this is more of a fridge tart than a cheesecake but definitely delivers the same tangy smoothness and richness of a cheesecake. I did not want to bake a traditional cheesecake neither wanted to use gelatin so used a base of condensed milk and lemon juice to set the mixture.
I drained the yoghurt overnight to make sure the filling is as thick as possible since I was not using any gelatin. Just line a wire mesh strainer with cheesecloth and place over a bowl. Put the yoghurt into the lined strainer, cover and leave in the fridge overnight.
The pomegranate topping adds texture, a beautiful colour and a bit more zing. I made a syrup with more pomegranate seeds but not sure if the tart really needs it. It does look very pretty on the plate though. I used the syrup recipe from drizzle and dip and added a good squeeze of lemon juice. She also has some really good tips for seeding and juicing pomegranates.
The mixture is more than enough for a 36cm x 12cm rectangular flan tin. For a 30cm (12 inch) round flan tin the filling should be doubled
For the pastry I used left over pastry from the Chocolate and Orange Curd Tart. Any leftover pastry can be frozen for up to 3 months. Just defrost overnight in the fridge.
Tina Bester’s Well Behaved Pastry (you will only need about half of this but make the full recipe and freeze what you don’t need)
200g castor sugar
2 large eggs
1 tub smooth cream cheese (250g), let it stand at room temperature for an hour to soften
500ml plain low fat yoghurt – drained overnight
1 tin condensed milk (385g)
125 ml freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 heaped tablespoon lemon zest
seeds from 1 pomegranate
Make the pastry by combining the butter and sugar in a food processor and while still running, add the eggs, one at a time. Add the flour and blend until it forms a dough. Remove from the processor, mould into a ball, cover with cling wrap and rest in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven the 180 degrees C.
Take the pastry out of the fridge, roll out and gently line the flan dish. Let the pastry overlap the edge of the dish by a cm or so. Prick the base with a fork, place in the fridge for 30 minutes and then bake for 15 minutes until the pastry is light golden brown (no need to fill with beans etc). Once it has cooled down for a few minutes gently trim the edge of the dish with a sharp knife and remove any extra pastry.
While the pastry is baking make the filling.
Place the cream cheese in a large bowl and beat until smooth with an electric mixer. Add the strained yoghurt and beat until well combined. Slowly add the condensed milk while beating then slowly add the lemon juice. Keep beating for a few minutes until the mixture has thickened. Fold in the lemon zest.
Scoop the filling into the cooled pastry case and place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
Sprinkle with the pomegranate seeds and extra lemon zest if desired and serve.