Cheesecake parcels

Light, tangy cheesecake in feathery jackets of filo from Ion Patisserie

In our book, as far as cheesecake is concerned, there is only one rule: it’s all about that base. The number of times we have ordered a beautiful, berry-crested cheesecake only to be disappointed by a limp, soggy bottom are really too painful to count.

A base must be biscuit, we’d decided. It must crunch with the sensation not of your average biscuit, but of one which has crumbled and wallowed in melted butter before chilling out in the fridge for hours; and at Ion Patisserie, we knew this was what we could get.

Then something caught our eye, amid the usual biscuit-based slices. Was it a custard tart? Milk pudding? There were tantalising hints of cheesecake—the slickness of the surface like a fresh coat of daffodil white paint, the crown of summer berries, the subtle, soured cream aroma—but the delicate, frilly case of filo pastry encircling this comforting melange confounded us.

Flaky, cheesy vision
What is this flaky, cheesy vision and how did it come to be? Fortunately, Cristina, stall manager at Ion, was on hand to help us. They are cheesecake parcels, and their premise is pretty simple: “One day we realised we were baking lots of different flavours of cheesecake, but they all shared the same biscuit or brownie base,” she explains.

“We wanted to break the rules and try something different, by taking the pastry from the apple strudels we bake and filling it with the lightest cheesecake batter.” The round, tartlet shape is “rather cute”—not to mention ideal for gifting—and the scattering of berries lifts it further, “for even more lightness”.

In the end she convinced us. A slice is nice, a biscuit base beautiful, but even we have days when, while we still want cheesecake, we don’t want the cloying sugar coma that comes with it: and it is for those times that these dollops of light, tangy, vanilla cheesecake, delicately clothed in feathery, slightly crispy jackets of filo, are—with local, fresh, untampered ingredients—made.