Sunday, April 20, 2014

Lemony Cheesecake

I enjoyed the Lemony Snicket books, but they are not related in any  way other than the adjective for the food, and the author’s first name/nom de plume. I used to listed to books on tape/cd when I had a long commute, and found that these children’s books were perfectly entertaining during the car ride (advise against listening to romance books or murder mysteries with unpleasant blood spatters while facing road rage). How about an anti-road-rage spring-has-sprung photo?
At any rate, I’ve been baking cheesecakes for decades, but until now, have only shared this recipe for brownie crusted muffin sized ones. I can’t believe that I had never prepared a lovely lemony recipe in my favorite cheesecake cookbook from Philadelphia Cream Cheese. It had previously seemed unduly complicated with lemon peel and juice, but that’s what we’re all about right now.
Here is my modification of the recipe: cut parchment paper to fit the bottom of a 9” springform pan (you can see from the photo that I didn’t do this, but wish I had).

Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Combine 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons sugar, and 3 tablespoons melted butter. Press into pan and bake for 10 minutes. While the crust is baking, combine 3 packages  reduced fat cream cheese (8 ounces each, softened) with ¾ cup sugar, 3 tablespoons whole wheat flour, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon grated lemon peel, and ½ teaspoon vanilla. Add 3 eggs, one at a time, blending well. Separate one more egg, and add only the white to the mixture. When you remove the crust from the oven, increase the temperature to 450 degrees. Pour the filling into the pan, and bake at 450 for 10 minutes. Then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees, and set the timer for 30 minutes. Check for done-ness after 30 minutes- mine seemed a bit soft and I wish I’d left it in for another 5 minutes. When you remove the cheesecake from the oven, run a knife around the edge of the pan, but let the cheesecake cool before you un-spring the springform. While the cheesecake is cooling, heat 2/3 cup sugar, 2 tablespoons of cornstarch, ¼ cup lemon juice and ½ cup cold water in a small pot. Beat the leftover egg yolk in a bowl, and add a small amount of the hot sugar mixture to it, stirring gently. Add the yolk to the pot with the sugar, stir well. Cool slightly, then pour over the cheesecake. Alternately, you could reserve the topping and pour a few spoonfuls over each slice once it’s on a plate.

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