Lemon cheesecake is a perfect dessert for brunch or dinner during spring and summer. The tangy, lemony taste is refreshing and unlike other cheesecakes, which tend to be heavy, this tastes light and airy. I had planned to make it for Easter but due to lack of time I chose to skip dessert and only made the Buttered Cabbage. The recipe is slightly elaborate, not because of the complicated method or numerous ingredients used but because of the number of steps required to make the whole cheesecake. It may seem to be too tedious and one might want to just buy a slice of cheesecake. But like anything homemade, the satisfaction of making and eating something is always a good feeling. And it tastes delicious and is less expensive too! If you make a cheesecake, like most desserts, prepare it eight hours or a day in advance so that the cream cheese sets properly.
Total prep time: 35 minutes Baking + setting time: 1 hour+8 hours Serves: 10-12
Graham crackers crumbs: 2 cups (You can use any other cracker or biscuit like Marie or Britannia biscuits)
Sugar: 3 tbsp
Butter, melted: 7 tbsp (preferably unsalted)
1) Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Mix all the ingredients and press it on the bottom and side of a greased 9- to 10-inch springform pan. It should be thick enough not to break or fall apart, about quarter of an inch thick.
3) Bake for 6 minutes and remove from the oven. (It smells awesome!)
4) Let it cool and meanwhile make your lemon curd.
Lemon peel, finely grated: 1 tsp
Lemon juice: ½ cup
Sugar: ½ cup
Eggs: 3 large
Butter: ½ stick or 4 tbsp
1) Whisk the lemon peel, lemon juice, sugar and eggs in a pan on medium heat.
2) When it becomes creamy, add butter and keep whisking continuously on medium high till it thickens, which takes around 6-7 minutes.
3) Remove from heat and sieve it. I like the little lemon peel bits so I skipped this step. But if you prefer a smooth consistency, then go ahead.
4) Let it cool for around 30 minutes and stir it once in a while. (This lemon curd can be an excellent filling for lemon tarts too!)
Cream cheese: Three 8 ounce packets
Sugar: 1 cup
Eggs: 4 large
Sour cream: 3/4th cup
Vanilla extract: 2 tsp
1) Preheat the oven at 300 degrees F.
2) Soften the cream cheese by putting it in the microwave for 10-15 seconds or keep it outside the fridge for around an hour.
3) Whisk the cream cheese on low speed until soft. Add the sugar and keep whisking until the sugar blends well.
4) Add the sour cream and vanilla and beat it. At this stage, the mixture should be creamy, devoid of any lumps.
5) Add one egg at a time and whisk it on low speed. Overmixing will incorporate too much air into the filling and lead to cracking of the surface of the cheesecake.
6) Pour 3/4th of the mixture into the prepared crust and also add the lemon curd. Swirl around the lemon curd gently so that it randomly mixes with the cream cheese filling. Pour the rest of the cream cheese.
7) Bake at 300 degrees F for 50 minutes and switch off the oven. Keep baking for another 10 minutes.
8) The centre of the cake will be wobbly. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the side of the pan. The cheesecake tends to shrink as it cools down, by freeing the sides you will prevent the cake from pulling at the sides and cracking.
9) Let it cool outside for 2 hours and then put it in the fridge for 4 more hours.
Note: You can also bake the cheesecake in a water bath which is a more gentle way of baking. Put the cake pan in a shallow tray or bigger pan filled with water till half level. The steam and lack of direct contact with the oven helps to keep the cake moist and prevent it from cracking.
Sugar: ½ cup
Water: ½ cup
Cornstarch: 1 tbsp
Lemon juice: 2 tbsp
Food colouring: 1 tsp
1) Mix all the ingredients in a pan on medium heat and keep stirring until smooth and thick. Remove from heat and let it cool for a few minutes.
2) Once the cheesecake has cooled and set, pour the glaze on top of it and spread with a spatula evenly to coat the surface.
3) Put it back in the fridge for 2 more hours or overnight to set it.
4) Garnish with lemon wedges or mint leaves and serve chilled.
Note: The glaze is an optional step. It looks pretty with the lemon coloured food colouring and shine and adds to the tangy taste. If your cheesecake has cracked, it also helps to cover up any cracks and keeps the cake moist.