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March 11, 2012

Lemon cheesecake with candied lemon zest

The creamy texture of this cheesecake will remind you of lemon mousse. It’s light, fluffy and luscious.

Serves 10-12

Ingredients:

For the crust

  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted
  • 1 cup vanilla wafers crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

    For the filling

  • 3- (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 4 eggs, separated
  • 3 large lemons, zest and juiced
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • candied lemon zest to garnish

    Instructions:

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
    For the crust: Spray a 9 inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Seal the outside of the pan with foil. Put the crumbs and sugar in a small bowl and pour in the butter and stir to combine. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom of the pan.

    For the filling: Beat cream cheese in a large bowl until smooth. Gradually add 1 cup of the sugar and beat until light and fluffy. Add egg yolks, lemon juice and zest. Slowly stir in flour and beat until smooth.

    Whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Gradually add the remaining sugar and whip until firm peaks. Fold egg whites into the lemon batter.

    Pour batter into the pan and place the pan in a baking dish that is slightly larger than the pan. Add hot water to dish, enough to cover 1 inch deep. Bake the cheesecake for 50-55 minutes or until set and golden. Transfer the pan to a rack to cool. Cover and refrigerate until chilled, about 4 hours.

    To serve: Run a knife along the edge of the cake to loosen and carefully remove the pan rim. Dip a knife into hot water to cut through the cake with ease.

    Terri’s Tips:

  • Folding egg whites into a batter isn’t difficult but there is a technique to it. Once you learn how to turn your wrist, you’ll be a pro
  • To soften cream cheese leave it at room temperature for about 2 hours before you need it. But if you forget, which we all do, heat it on low in the microwave for about 20 seconds. If that doesn’t do the trick add an additional 10 seconds until it is soft but not melted.
  • Use a zesting tool to zest the lemon into long strips or you can thinly slice julienne strips
  • Whip the egg yolks before adding to the batter to increase volume for a lighter, creamier texture

    Cooking Wiser:

  • You can use low fat cream cheese but it will change the texture of the cake
  • Use cooking oil to replace the butter in the crust

    Make it your own:

    Make this Lemon beauty into a lime, beauty, use limes to replace the lemons
    If you don’t have vanilla wafers use graham cracker crumbs or ginger snaps
    You could even add nuts to the crust, pecans or almonds; about 1/3 cup finely crushed

  • Posted by terri at March 11, 2012 12:56 AM

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