All previous cheesecake attempts have ended tragically, but this, this fluffy lemony creation, turned out wonderfully. Which is fortunate, since it was our Valentine's Day dessert. (Geoff was in charge of dinner: osso buco and risotto milanese, yum!)
Note the enormous plate for the wee slice of cheesecake.
We were feeling fancy.
I found the recipe on epicurious.com and made a couple of modifications based on the user reviews. I also made a raspberry sauce and some lemon curd for topping. The lemon curd is definitely optional - I love all things lemon so I thought it was great, but the cake would be delicious with just the raspberry sauce.
Original recipe found here
Yield: Makes one 9-inch cheesecake
For shortbread crust:
1/2 cup unsalted butter (room temperature)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup finely ground pecan sandies cookies
2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
4 teaspooons lemon zest
2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice
Note: you may need to add some extra flour or cookie crumbs if your crust mixture seems too buttery. I added a couple tablespoons of extra cookie crumbs and also baked the crust a bit longer until it looked really crispy.
Using an electric mixer, cream the butter and sugar together on medium high speed for 3-4 minutes. Add flour and ground cookies to the mixture and blend for 3-4 seconds until fully incorporated. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust at 350° F for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the crust to cool completely.
Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until light and smooth. Add the mascarpone cheese and sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time. Blend in the lemon zest and juice. Pour mixture into the cooled crust.
If your springform pan doesn't have a tight seal, wrap it 3/4 of the way up the sides with aluminum foil. Set the cheesecake pan into a roasting pan, and add enough water to the roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of the cheesecake pan. Place in a 350° F oven for approximately one hour or until the cake is set and the top is golden brown. Remove the cake from the roasting pan and place on a wire rack. Allow cake to cool slightly, then place the cake in the refrigerator for 6 hours or overnight.
Source unknown - I've had the recipe for years and never wrote down where I got it
~2 cups of fresh raspberries (I use two of those small containers from the grocery store, which is a little more than two cups)
¼ cup Chambord
1 cup confectionary sugar
3 T fresh lemon juice
Note: next time I make this, I will try leaving out the confectionary sugar and cutting the lemon juice - I thought the sauce was a bit sweet when paired with the lemon curd. I don't want to lose the thickening effect of the corn starch in the powdered sugar, so I'll add
a couple tablespoons a teaspoon of corn starch instead. If anyone is brave and wants to try this, let me know how it turns out!
Puree all ingredients in food processor; strain sauce to remove seeds. Refrigerate.
This is my usual recipe cut in half - it makes just enough for about a tablespoon of curd on top of each piece of cheesecake
1.5 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1 large egg
1 large egg yolk
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 teaspoon grated lemon zest
Beat the butter with the sugar until it’s light and fluffy. Slowly beat in the egg and yolk. Beat for 1 minute more, then stir in the lemon juice. The mixture will look curdled. Do not panic.
Cook the mixture over low heat until it becomes smooth, then increase the heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, without letting it boil, until it thickens enough to leave a path on the back of the spoon when you drag your finger through it. If you want to go by temperature, you’re looking for 170 F.
Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest. Press plastic wrap on surface to prevent a skin from forming and chill in the refrigerator.