Frugal Living

Cheap and easy, family friendly recipes that can be made in bulk, repurposing ideas, make not waste projects, cheap and easy ideas for things to make for your home and children.

A Glut Of... Lemons - Baked Lemon and Ginger Cheesecake


Lemon & Ginger Cheesecake  

This baked cheesecake recipe has a ginger nut crumb base and a lemon ricotta top. Instructions for making ricotta cheese at home can be found by clicking here.

The Base


  • 60g unsalted butter
  • 120g ginger nut biscuits


  1. Crush the biscuits into crumbs - I put them in a bag and use the rolling pin to do it.
    Biscuit Crumbs
  2. Melt the butter in a pan
    Melting Butter
  3. Stir in the biscuit crumbs
  4. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a well greased 8" pie dish
    Biscuit base ready to chill
  5. Place in the fridge to chill whilst preparing the topping

The Topping


  • 250g ricotta cheese
  • small container (approx 140ml) sour cream
  • 1 beaten egg
  • 50g icing sugar
  • Juice and finely grated rind of 1 lemon


  1. Place all the ingredients into a food mixer/blender and mix until smooth.
    cheesecake topping mix
    mixed topping
  2. Pour onto chilled biscuit base
    ready to bake
  3. Bake in oven for one and a quarter hours.
  4. Turn off the oven leave the door closed and leave the cheesecake in the oven to cook in the residual heat for another hour and a half.
  5. Once cold chill in the refridgerator.

Posted by OneProudMomma at Saturday, July 31, 2010 5:38 AM
Edited on: Saturday, July 31, 2010 5:41 AM

A Glut Of... Gooseberries - Seedless Gooseberry Jam / Jelly


Gooseberry Bush  

My gooseberry originally started off as a 99p twig from Aldi a few years ago. I now have 2 plants the size of the one above, plus 2 more twigs which have self set themselves this year. I can see in a couple of years time I will be the Queen of Gooseberry Recipes! The gooseberries on the bush above are not ripe yet, they turn from green to a lovely ruby red colour when they are ripe.

I'd picked a colander full of gooseberries one day with the intention of making some muffins or gooseberry fool, but time got the better of me and I needed to do something quickly. As my daughter loves gooseberries but doesn't like seeds in her jam I decided to make a seedless jam, or a jelly as it is called sometimes. As I was in a hurry I didn't get too many photographs taken, unfortunately, but the experiment worked and my daughter rated the result as "the best jam in the world", so I figure it must be worth sharing!

To start with I put the washed gooseberries in a pan with a couple of tablespoons of water and cooked them for around 10 minutes, stirring occassionally to make sure they didn't stick to the bottom of the pan. Once they were cooked I strained them through a muslin lined colander to make sure I got all the pulp and juice without the seeds and other bits. (A similar method to when making ricotta cheese)

When you have all the pulp, weigh it. Place an equal weight of sugar in the pan with the pulp, add 1 tablespoon of lemon juice and stir.

gooseberry pulp and sugar

Bring the fruit/sugar mixture to the boil. Simmer for about 10 minutes, carefully skimming away any foam.

foamy jam  

Get your warmed prepared jars at the ready and pour the jelly into them. Place your wax disk on top and seal them after they have had a chance to cool for a few minutes.

finished gooseberry jam / jelly

This makes a runny jam, which we keep in the fridge. If you want to set the jam so it is firm you will need to add pectin, or use jam sugar which already has the pectin in it.

Posted by OneProudMomma at Thursday, July 29, 2010 7:01 AM

A Glut Of... Lemons - Lemon Drizzle Cake


This is the recipe that is usually responsible for me ending up with a glut of lemons. I go to the supermarket thinking "I'll pick up a lemon and make a lemon drizzle cake" and end up coming out with a bag full because it works out cheaper to buy them in bulk. That happened again today - I went to check out the "oops" fruit and vegetables and there was a bag of lemons tempting me for the grand price of 39p. Lemon drizzle cake here we come! LOL


Lemon Drizzle cake is incredibly easy to make. I usually triple the ingredients and make three cakes at a time, then I have one to eat now and two to freeze. It works out much more economical that way as the cakes have to bake for 1 hour.



  • 110g soft butter or margarine
  • 170g self raising flour
  • 170g caster sugar (or granulated if you don't have caster)
  • 4 tbsp milk
  • grated rind from a large lemon
  • 2 eggs


  1. preheat oven to 160c
  2. grease or line a 2lb loaf tin
  3. put all the ingredients into a bowl and beat until smooth
  4. pour into loaf tin
  5. bake for 1 hour (if cake is looking brown after 40 minutes then cover with tin foil for last 20 minutes)
  6. leave to cool a little and ice whilst still warm



  • 4 tbsp icing sugar
  • juice of large lemon


  1. sieve icing sugar
  2. stir in lemon juice to create thick syrup
  3. prick top of cake with fork
  4. spoon icing over cake
  5. leave to set
Posted by OneProudMomma at Wednesday, July 28, 2010 3:58 PM

A Glut Of... Lemons - Lemon Curd


Homemade Lemon Curd  

I much prefer home made lemon curd to the shop bought variety, it tends to be more tart and creamy. The couple of children that like lemon curd at all, prefer the sugary gloopy shop bought variety. I don't mind that, all the more real lemon curd for me! :-)

Lemon Curd is very simple to make using only four ingredients and minimal equipment. It contains butter and egg, so will need to be eaten within a few days of being made. That really isn't a problem for me. It can also be used instead of icing for cakes, in which case use it whilst it is still warm as it spreads easier.


  • 3oz white sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2oz unsalted butter
  • 1 large lemon - Finely grated rind and the juice


  1. Whisk the eggs and lemon juice together in the bowl.
  2. Mix in the lemon rind and the sugar.
  3. Cut the butter into small pieces and add to the bowl.
  4. Place the bowl over a pan of simmering water.
  5. Stir frequently until the mixture thickens (around 20 minutes)
  6. Leave to cool slightly, then place in container (leave lid off until it reaches room temperature otherwise condensation will form in jar and make it go nasty).
  7. Once it reaches room temperature put lid on conatiner and transfer to refridgerator.
Posted by OneProudMomma at Tuesday, July 27, 2010 8:27 AM

A Glut Of... Milk - Ricotta Cheese


Our glut of milk came from the local supermarket who had overstocked with stuff one weekend. They were selling off 2l cartons of full fat milk for 50p. I know that you can freeze milk so I bought a few cartons not entirely sure at the time what I was going to do with it all other than maybe let the kids drink it all over the summer holiday.

It occurred to me at the time that the milk was only half the price of the stuff I usually buy but oh, wouldn't it be good if we could learn to make cheese. Now that we use in abundance and it is a lot more expensive to buy than milk. I remembered my new book had a section on cheese making and set out to learn what I could, which turned out to be a sketchy over view with not many details. However, it did state that the easiest cheese to make was ricotta, so I looked up ricotta making on the internet. The recipe I found was rather on the bulky side considering that I didn't know whether it was going to work or not, so I scaled it down, amended it to use ingredients you could readily buy and voila - my very own ricotta recipe! The ricotta itself is creamy and not tart, rather like cream cheese (which in fact it is). It spreads well and can be used in baking. Once made it will last up to a week in an airtight container in the fridge.

I hope you enjoy it as much as we do.

Equipment Needed

  1. Large saucepan
  2. Stirring spoon
  3. Small sieve or slotted spoon
  4. Colander
  5. Large bowl
  6. Clean damp muslin square or cheese cloth (I know mine doesn't look very clean - that's because it's stained from straining gooseberry jelly!)


  • 2l full fat milk
  • Pinch salt
  • 80ml lemon juice


  1. Rinse out the pan with cold water and pour the milk into it.
    Milk In A Pan
  2. Add a pinch of salt, stir briefly and place over a low/medium heat.
  3. Heat the milk slowly, stirring occasionally and removing from the heat just before it reaches boiling point. (There will be steam coming off plus bubbles and a skin on the surface of the milk.)
    Milk with bubbles
  4. Add the lemon juice and stir for gently for one minute. Curds will start to form immediately. Leave covered with a clean tea-towel for two hours.
    Milk Curds
  5. Place the colander over the bowl and line it with the muslin square/cheese cloth.
  6. Using the sieve/slotted spoon ladle out the cheese and place it into the colander. Cover it again and leave it drain for another couple of hours.
    Ladling The Ricotta
  7. Lift up the cloth and squeeze the cheese gently until any liquid coming out is a milky colour.
    Squeezing The Cheese
  8. Place it in an airtight tub and refrigerate.
    Ricotta - ready to chill
Posted by OneProudMomma at Tuesday, July 27, 2010 7:35 AM