Friday, June 5, 2009

Baked Lemon Cheesecake

My sister's birthday gift to me arrived just before Lemon Week started, and I was extremely pleased to find a new cookbook with several lemon recipes. But one recipe stood out to me as the one that had to be tested: The Cheesecake.

I'm not a big cheesecake person, but my husband is, and I do enjoy using my springform pan. I have to admit that this was not the cheesecakey-est cheesecake I've ever tried. And I didn't quite prepare it to specifications ... for example, I used some bottle lemon juice and the juice of only two lemons. While I think my sugar is superfine in the sense that it's radically awesome, I do not think it meets the cookbook's standards of superfine. I perusal of the baking aisle did not yield any superfine sugar, so I winged it with regular granular sugar. I accidentally used slightly more than a scant 1 cup ("scant," shockingly enough, means to use absolutely no more than 1 cup) and I didn't strain it ... so I think my cheesecake had extra moisture from the beginning.

But it was a light, creamy treat, and it didn't have an overwhelming lemon flavor. I am absolutely in love with the gingersnap crust, too.

1/4 cup butter, plus extra for greasing
3 cups crushed gingersnaps
3 lemons
1 1/3 cups ricotta cheese
scant 1 cup strained plain yogurt (I didn't strain it and I accidentally used a little more than a scant 1 cup - my bad!)
4 eggs
1 tbsp. cornstarch
1/2 cup superfine sugar (I used about 3/4 cup regular sugar)
strips of lemon zest, to decorate
confectioners' sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly green an 8-inch round springform fan and line the bottom with nonstick parchment paper.

Melt the butter and stir in the cookie crumbs. Press into the base of the prepared cake pan. Chill until firm.

Meanwhile, finely grate the rind and squeeze the juice from the lemons. Add the ricotta, yogurt, eggs, cornstarch and superfine sugar and whip until a smooth batter is formed.

Carefully pour the mixture into the pan. Bake in the preheated over for 40-45 minutes, or until just firm and golden brown.

Cool the cheesecake completely in the pan, then run a knife around the edge to loosen, and turn out onto a serving plate. Decorate with lemon zest and dust with confectioners' sugar.

Serves 6-8

Source: Baking Day: A celebration of the simple joys of baking


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