Friday, February 18, 2011

Lemon Cheesecake

Ladies and gentlemen, I have successfully made a cheesecake. [cue fanfare]


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.

Lemon Cheesecake
Original recipe found here

Yield: Makes one 9-inch cheesecake

Ingredients
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

For cheesecake:
2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 eggs
4 teaspooons lemon zest
2 tablespoon fresh squeezed lemon juice

Preparation
Make crust:
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.

Make cheesecake:
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.


Raspberry Sauce
Source unknown - I've had the recipe for years and never wrote down where I got it

Ingredients
~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!

Directions
Puree all ingredients in food processor; strain sauce to remove seeds. Refrigerate.

Lemon Curd
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
Ingredients
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

Directions
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.

14 comments:

Rene said...

Mmmmmm, it looks great. DH doesn't like lemon-y things, but I sure do.

Katnip Lounge said...

I need a bib just reading the recipie! Must try this with some of the fresh lemons off of my tree! YUM.

Laura47 said...

Congratulations, it looks delicious! Was it as light and fluffy as it looks?

Simba said...

How yummy. I bet that raspberry sauce can be used lots of ways too. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

i read your blog a lot, and i love it. i just wanted to let you know that there's only 3-5% cornstarch *by weight* in powdered sugar, so i wouldn't put in that much cornstarch to replace confectioners sugar for the raspberry sauce.

Natalie said...

@Laura47: yes, it was very light and fluffy!
@Anon: thanks for the info! I edited the post to reflect that.

Anonymous said...

I congratulate you both on the gorgeous looking cheesecake, but with my own sweet tooth in mind, also on the miniscule portion. I admit I'd have just cut the cake in half and used platters if necessary. ; )

BeadedTail said...

Oh yum, cheesecake! This looks so good and pretty easy to make!

ABBY said...

YUM
That looks very nommy!

purrin
xoxox

Sparkle said...

LEMON cheesecake?! I think you should have made salmon cheesecake! (Never mind my human who is trying to eat your creation through the computer screen.)

Cat Chat With Caren And Cody said...

I am with Sparkle on trying to eat the cheesecake through the computer screen...this is torture for a Weight Watcher girl like me and I have weigh-in tomorrow!

Sylvestermiasmomma said...

I am with Sparkle too on trying to eat the cheese cake through the computer screen. I love lemon bars, lemon muffins, and am willing try lemon cheesecake. Yum!

=^..^= said...

Our Mommy's thighs dun thank you for this glorious delish recipe!

~Slash & Bronzy

Julie @ Willow Bird Baking said...

Yum, this looks gorgeous and tasty! I love lemon and can't wait to try a lemon cheesecake!