Today is Father’s Day and it’s easy to get swept up in making sure your kids have come up with something creative for their Dad and forget to be thankful for your own Dad and remember how lucky you are to have them in your lives.
I’m especially lucky I think to have a Dad that has always been there to support me in whatever decisions I made, can direct me in the car no matter where in the country I am (in the days before Sat Nav and Google maps!), doesn’t mind reading every blog I write to check for grammar and spelling mistakes, uses emojis almost as much as I do on WhatsApp and most importantly loves me for exactly who I am. And I have to say it’s the sweetest thing in the world to see how much Seb adores him and watching them walk off hand-in-hand every week when Dad helps to look after Seb.
A lot of my childhood was dominated by going round the country playing tennis tournaments and whilst Mum took on the majority of the driving, I do remember a number of trips in the car, particularly before the bigger matches where Dad came along too and would often put on Rocky ‘Eye of the Tiger’ in the car in an effort to get me geared up for the big match. Makes me chuckle to think back about that now.
He even flew with me to Florida when I was 13 years old and dropped me off at a tennis academy to then get the next flight home so that I didn’t have to travel by myself. He was more than happy to stick me on the plane by myself the next time, although he might have regretted it when I got a little lost in Miami airport and called home probably causing a very large phone bill!
Whilst I won’t be seeing Dad on Father’s Day, I did sneakily send Mum home with a card and present earlier in the week. I wasn’t sure he would appreciate the present Seb made Will which was his footprints on a card saying, ‘I love you Dad from the top of my head to the tips of my toes’ and actually a decent bottle of red was rather more up his street.
We had friends round for a BBQ on Father’s Day and we finished off the meal with this delicious blueberry and pistachio ricotta cheesecake. I had a tub of ricotta in the fridge and that’s really where the inspiration came from. I came across a recipe by Honey & Co. (a lovely restaurant in town) and just played around with the ingredients a little to work with what we had in the cupboards.
The ricotta keeps the cheesecake beautifully light and moist, which is why I’m calling it a cheesecake rather than a cake. The blueberries bursting with tartness and the use of ground nuts providing texture within the sponge and the green jewel pistachios on top delivering that much needed crunch. You could definitely sub in different fruits or nuts, I’m sure raspberries and hazelnuts would be a delicious combination.
Happy Father’s Day to all those Dad’s out there. No idea what we’d do without you.
Blueberry and Pistachio Ricotta Cheesecake
Makes 1 cheesecake
A take on recipe by Honey & Co.
115g unsalted butter, softened
125g caster sugar
25g plain flour
zest of 1 lemon
½ tsp of salt
1 tsp ground ginger
150g ground almonds
250g ricotta cheese
2 tbsp golden granulated sugar
Line and butter a 23cm loose bottom cake tin.
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees.
Begin by creaming together your butter and caster sugar in a mixer until it is light and creamy.
Add one egg at a time, making sure each egg is well incorporated before adding the next.
Add the flour, salt, lemon zest, ground ginger and ground almonds and mix well until the mixture is properly combined.
Add your ricotta and gently fold through until it is incorporated in the batter.
Add half your blueberries being careful not to burst them.
Spoon the mixture into your tin and smooth out to form an even layer.
Sprinkle on your remaining blueberries, pistachios and top with the granulated sugar.
Bake in the oven for 55-65 minutes until the cheesecake has set. The blueberries will have exploded a little and the nuts will be toasted.
Leave to cool in the tin before removing from the tin and placing in the fridge to set properly.
The cheesecake will keep for 3-4 days in the fridge.
Best served at room temperature on it’s own or with some crème fraiche if you like.