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Lemon Cheesecakes Recipe & Video

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These Lemon Cheesecakes are so pretty to look at. But more importantly, they are delicious to eat. Each individual New York style cheesecake is set in a graham cracker crust and topped with a layer of creamy smooth lemon curd. I especially like how the tanginess of the lemon curd offsets the richness of the cheesecake filling. Excellent plain, but also very good with a medley of fresh berries.

The most important thing to remember when making the cheesecake filling for these Lemon Cheesecakes is to have all the ingredients at room temperature. Beat the cream cheese just until it is creamy and smooth (no lumps) and then add the sugar. Make sure you scrape down the bowl often to remove any lumps and beat the cheesecake batter at low speed. This will reduce the amount of air incorporated into the batter which will result in a wonderfully dense cheesecake. These cheesecakes are baked in muffin cups and for easy removal, line the muffin cups with paper or foil liners. The cheesecakes are baked in a slow oven to prevent cracking and are done when the filling is set but still a little wet and wobbly in the center. Let cool before covering and placing in the refrigerator for several hours. Once chilled, cover with the lemon curd and return to the refrigerator for a few hours, or even overnight.

Lemon Curd is a thick, soft and velvety cream that has a wonderful tart yet sweet citrus flavor. It is made with eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and unsalted butter. It is similar to a lemon filling or custard in that it is cooked on the stove yet it does not contain a thickener such as cornstarch (corn flour). We are going to cook the curd in a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water (a double boiler). This method does take a little longer, but it helps prevent the eggs from curdling which gives the curd all those annoying little specks of cooked egg. Once the lemon curd has become nice and thick (like hollandaise), remove it from the heat and strain to remove any lumps that may have formed. Then stir in the butter and lemon zest and you're done. Cover immediately with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming. You will find that the lemon curd will continue to thicken as it cools. In order for the lemon curd to be at the right pouring consistency, you need it to be thick, but still thin enough to spread easily over the chilled cheesecakes. Now, if you like you can make the lemon curd a few days before using, but bring it to room temperature and than whisk to remove any lumps before spreading on the cheesecakes. If the lemon curd is still too thick to pour easily, gently heat in a heatproof bowl set over a saucepan of simmering water just until pourable.

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Cheesecakes: Preheat oven to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven. Line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners. 

For Crust: In a small bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press a heaping tablespoon of crumbs onto the bottoms of the 12 muffin cups. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling: In the bowl of your electric mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar and salt and beat until combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and beat until incorporated. Remove the crusts from the refrigerator and evenly divide the filling among the 12 muffin cups. 

Bake for about 18 - 22 minutes or until firm but the centers of the cheesecakes still wobble a little. Remove from oven and place on a wire rack. Let cool and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for several hours or overnight.

Lemon Curd: In a stainless steel bowl placed over a saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce) (160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the lemon zest and cover immediately to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool until it of pouring consistency.

To Serve: Once the cheesecakes have been chilled, pour a heaping tablespoon of the lemon curd on top of each cheesecake. Gently smooth the lemon curd to form an even layer. Cover and return to the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight. To serve, gently remove the paper liners. If desired, use a small metal spatula, that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry, to smooth the sides of the cheesecakes. The cheesecakes can be stored for several days in the refrigerator.

Makes 12 individual cheesecakes. 

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Crust:

1 cup (100 grams) graham wafer crumbs or crushed digestive biscuits

1 tablespoon (15 grams) granulated white sugar

4 - 5 tablespoons (55-65 grams) butter, melted

Filling:

2 - 8 ounce (454 grams) packages of full fat cream cheese, room temperature

2/3 cup (130 grams) granulated white sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

2 large eggs, room temperature

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

1/2 cup (120 ml) sour cream, room temperature

Lemon Curd Recipe:

3 large eggs

3/4 cup (150 grams) granulated white sugar

1/3 cup (80 ml) fresh lemon juice

4 tablespoons (56 grams) butter, at room temperature

1 tablespoon finely shredded lemon zest

 
 
     
 

 

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