Devizes Cheesecakes

In May 1799, Austen wrote to her sister, Cassandra, ‘Our journey yesterday went off exceedingly well, nothing occurred to alarm or delay us . . . At Devizes we had comfortable rooms and a good dinner, to which we sat down about five; amongst other things we had asparagus and a lobster, which made me wish for you, and some cheesecakes, on which the children made so delightful a supper as to endear the town of Devizes to them for a long time.’
Austen is good at painting pictures of domestic contentment – she certainly knew that happiness lies in small things and undoubtedly that one of those small things was cheesecake. The cheesecake of the period was somewhat akin to an almond-thickened custard baked in a pastry case, but we think this more modern take on the cheesecake would have pleased the Austen children just as well. –

 Robert Tuesley Anderson, author of Jane Austen’s Table



prep + cooking time: 30 minutes

115g digestive biscuit crumbs

25g unsalted butter, melted

170g cream cheese

50g caster sugar

55g soured cream

finely grated zest of ½ lemon

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon cornflour

2 eggs

raspberries, to serve

icing sugar, for dusting


  1. 1. Line a 6-hole muffin tin with paper cases. Stir the digestive crumbs into the melted butter and press into the bases of the cases. Chill while you make the filling.
  2. Click here to pick up a copy!
  3. 2. Place the cream cheese, sugar, soured cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract, cornflour and eggs in a bowl and beat together.
  4. 3. Spoon the mixture over the biscuit bases and bake at 160˚C for 20 minutes. Leave to cool in the tin for 5 minutes.
  5. 4. Remove the cheesecakes from the cases and place on a serving plate. Serve warm, decorated with raspberries and a dusting of icing sugar.


This is an extract from Jane Austen’s Table by Robert Tuesley Anderson 


Click here to subscribe to our newsletter and receive exclusive recipes from our award winning cookbooks direct to your inbox!