This makes a delicious light lunch or summer starter, and uses everything but the pod itself from the pea plant. (If you want to save your pea flowers to turn into more peas, omit them or use other edible flowers.) Savoury cheesecakes are a great alternative to quiches and tarts and, as this recipe uses oatcakes for the base, it is wheat-free, too.
Serves 4–6 as a light lunch with salad, 8–10 as a starter
1 × 23cm spring-form tin, greased and base-lined
100g unsalted butter
20g Parmesan cheese, finely grated pea purée
2 garlic cloves, crushed
360g cream cheese
120ml double cream
zest of 1 lemon
salt and pepper, to taste
handful of pea shoots, edible flowers (eg pea flowers, violas)
1 For base tier, put the oatcakes in a food bag and bash with a rolling pin until they are reduced to crumbs. Melt the butter, then combine with the crumbs in a bowl, mixing to coat. Press into the base of the tin in an even tier (a potato masher is the best tool here). Chill in the fridge for at least half an hour.
2 For the Parmesan crisps, preheat oven to 180C. Put 10 large pinches of grated cheese on a baking sheet, leaving space for them to spread. Place baking sheet in oven and, watching all the time, let the cheese melt into flat, slightly browned crisps. Remove from the oven and cool the crisps on the baking sheet.
3 For the pea purée, melt butter in a frying pan. Add garlic to the butter as it melts, but do not let it brown. Pour over the peas and blend to a rough purée.
4 For filling, whisk cream cheese, double cream, eggs and lemon zest in a large bowl. Add the pea purée, season, and whisk again until everything is incorporated. Stir in the whole peas. Pour filling over the base tier and bake for 35–40 mins until the cheesecake does not wobble when the tin is shaken, and the top is golden.
5 Turn the cheesecake out onto a plate, scatter over the pea shoots and flowers. Nestle the Parmesan crisps among them. Serve warm, with a peppery side salad.
Recipe from Grow Your Own Cake by Holly Farrell (Frances Lincoln) Photography Jason Ingram