The quaint café filled with old photographs, retro furniture, flower vases and lace stood adjacent to the towering lighthouse. Its walls soaked in memories. Memories and stories of Alnes, the small village that was once one of the most important fishing villages in the entire region.
It was here, a few summers ago, where I sat down with family to take in the atmosphere while enjoying some delectable cakes on offer. One of the cakes was their famous whipped lingonberry cheesecake ´tyttebærfromasjkake´. It’s crumbly bottom and airy top was the perfect treat on this bright, summery day. I queried those serving the cake for the recipe, but they refused on the grounds that the women who had served it all those years wished to keep it a secret. I did ask a few more prying questions, perhaps the rights ones since they were happy to share that she used lingonberry jam and whipped cream folded in.
The lingonberry cheesecake left an imprint and I was determined to replicate it as best I could. I had scribbled a few notes on a napkin that day just to prod my memory: jam, sour, light, airy, tangy, and biscuits not easily identified. Once home, I set out to make a few variations until I got as close as I could. Then life got busy, as it does, and soon my test recipes were placed in a folder for another time.
Inspired by all the fresh lingonberries in season this year, I pulled out the folder and decided to make that last version again. It was simply divine. Certainly not a replicate of the one from the Alnes, but it carried all the same elements that made it stand out in the first place. It was crumbly and buttery, sweet and tangy, and light and airy. Each bite drew me back to that charming café overlooking the sea. And to that island, which continues to leave an impression with whomever might travel to its shores.
This is a real treat and easy to put together. The café in Alnes piped some of the filling on top to give it a lovely design. I garnished mine with fresh lingonberries I picked from the forest. Feel free to serve it as you would like.
Whipped Lingonberry Cheesecake (Tyttebærfromasjkake)
Serves 8 to 10
- ½ pound (225 g) whole wheat digestive biscuits, crushed finely
- ½ cup (112 g) lightly salted butter, melted
- 3 ½ ounces (100 g) cream cheese
- 2/3 cup (160 ml) sour cream
- 2/3 cup (130 g) granulated sugar
- 2 cups (480 ml) cold water
- 5 (3 x 4 ½ -inch / 7 ½ x 11 ½ cm) gelatin sheets or 2 ½ teaspoons gelatin powder
- 1 cup (240 ml) lingonberry jam
- 1 ¼ cups (300 ml) heavy cream
Butter a 9-inch (23 cm) springform pan then line the pan with parchment paper and butter the paper.
In a large bowl, stir together the crushed biscuits and melted butter. Press the biscuit mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan and refrigerate until ready to use.
In a second large bowl, whisk together the cream cheese, sour cream, and sugar.
Place the gelatin sheets in a third large bowl with the cold water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain then add 2 to 3 tablespoons of boiling water and stir to dissolve the gelatin. If using gelatin powder, place 4 tablespoons of cold water into a small saucepan, sprinkle in the gelatine and warm over low heat, without stirring, until the gelatine has dissolved. Mix in the lingonberry jam, pour into the cream cheese mixture, and stir to combine.
In a medium bowl, whisk the heavy cream until stiff peaks form then add to the batter and gently fold to combine.
Pour the batter over the biscuit crust, smooth the top, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set.