I like papayas best. They are sweet and floral and taste amazing with lime and anything salty. They do have a distinctive and acquired smell, so be prepared for some sweaty sneakers jokes from any kids around. Just tell them to be adventurous and if they never tried anything, they wouldn't have discovered chocolate. Don't tell them papayas are a thousand times better for them than chocolate, or it will be game over. And I mean really good for them - and us of course! The fruit is rich in Vitamin C and potassium, it contains beta-carotene for healthy skin and it's a great source of fibre.
When cut, papayas are a vibrant coral colour - yep, like a sunrise - and I thought they would look gorgeous sliced and arranged on top of a creamy baked cheesecake. They pair beautifully with South East Asian flavours, so I have used lime and coconut in the cheesecake, and the base is made from Gingernut bickies. Finished with a drizzle of tangy lime syrup, it's my ideal papaya dessert, and a great way to introduce your family or guests to something a little bit different. Fancy even!
To learn more about #aussiepapaya or #aussiepapaw visit www.australianpapaya.com.au
Red Papaya, Lime and Coconut Cheesecake with Lime Syrup
200g Gingernut biscuits
40g desiccated coconut
120g butter, melted
250g fresh ricotta cheese
500g cream cheese at room temperature
150 ml coconut cream
225g caster sugar
2 tablespoons cornflour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Zest of one lime
1 red papaya
Edible violets to decorate *
100g caster sugar
Juice and zest of one lime
1 tablespoon water
Preheat oven to 180C.
Grease and line the base and sides of a 23cm springform tin with non-stick baking paper.
Blitz biscuits and coconut with a food processor until they resemble fine breadcrumbs. Pour into a bowl and mix in melted butter. Press mixture into the base of prepared tin and smooth with the back of a spoon. Bake for 10 mins.
Reduce oven to 160C.
For the filling, process all ingredients except the papaya and violets with a food processor until smooth. Use a spatula to scrape the mixture down the sides of the bowl and process again until it is perfectly smooth. Whisk out any stubborn lumps. Carefully pour the mixture into the tin on top of the base. Bake for 55-60 mins or until the edges are golden brown and there is a slight wobble in the centre. Cool in the tin and then place in the fridge until cold.
To assemble, remove cheesecake from tin and place on a serving plate or cake stand.
Now to make the lime syrup. Place caster sugar, lime juice, zest and water into a small saucepan and stir gently over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved and the mixture begins to boil. Stop stirring and simmer for 3 mins. Remove from heat and leave to cool.
Slice papaya in half and remove the seeds and skin from one half. Slice the peeled fruit thinly and arrange the slices on top of the cheesecake, starting from the edges and working in.
Drizzle lime syrup in large circles on top of the papaya slices with a teaspoon and finish with scattered edible violets.
Cheesecake can be made a day ahead, but assemble the fruit and make syrup on the day of serving.
*Edible violets and other edible flowers are available from select Farmers Markets. I bought my violets, produced by Darling Mills Farm, from Orange Grove Markets in Rozelle, Sydney.