Friday, October 21, 2011

The Finale, Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

Our Meyer Lemon Tree is still unbelievably full of fruit, so it is time for dessert!!!

Matter of fact, the tree has gotten so heavy with fruit that Gordy had to stake up some of the limbs, so they would not break.  Last year with all the Meyer Lemon juice I made lots of desserts, pound cake, bundt cake, cookies and curd.  This year, I was craving CHEESECAKE!!!  For all the wonderful fruit for my tree has given us, I had to celebrate with a very special cheesecake, a layered cheesecake!!!  I found the perfect recipe at Diana's Desserts, Shortbread crust, Meyer Lemon, Marcapone Cheesecake and Meyer Lemon Curd topping.  YUM!
Don't get overwhelmed when you look at the recipe, it may look time consuming but oh it is so worth it and you can do it over 2 days.  I started ours the morning of the day before we planned to serve it.
After walking the puppies, I prepared the crust..  A word of caution about this crust.  Since it is a shortbread crust, you want it to be light and flaky, not dense and hard to cut.  It is not going to look like a traditional graham cracker crust.  The crumbs will look dry when you put them in your spring form pan and you need to GENTLY press then in the bottom.  The crust will need to bake about 15-20 minutes, watch it closely at the end, it can burn quickly.  While the crust was baking, I prepared the cheesecake filling.  Into my mixer went the sugar, cream cheese and lemon zest.  I mixed it until smooth, and then added the mascarpone cheese and mix until just combined. I added the cream, vanilla extract and lemon juice and mixed until smooth and no lumps appeared, I put my mixer speed on slow and stirred in the egg yolk.  I have 2 bowls for my kitchen aide, but if you don't, transfer the filling to a different bowl, then wash and dry the electric mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, I whipped the egg whites until soft peaks formed. I gently folded the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture then pour it over the shortbread crust in the spring form pan. I baked the cheesecake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the center is almost set. I let it cool on a wire rack for about one hour, then covered it and refrigerated overnight.  Because I did not follow all the steps to a perfect cheesecake, my top did crack some, but I was not worried, I was putting a Meyer Lemon Curd on top, it would hide all the imperfections!
The next morning, I started the curd.  I whisked the eggs and yolks together in pan and cooked until thickened (about 5 to 7 minutes), stirring occasionally. (you can use a double boiler if you prefer)
I removed the pan from the  heat and stirred in the butter, stirring until it became completely melted. I poured the lemon curd over the cooled cheesecake and baked at 300 degrees  for 15 minutes. I put on a rack to cool at room temperature  for about 1/2 hour and then popped it in the fridge until time to serve dessert.  This cheesecake was the prefect finale to my tribute to Meyer Lemon.  Next time I am going to try to make it in my individual spring form pans.  I have 6 right now, I think I will need 8, Oh well, back to the kitchen store. FYI, I will post my 100th blog post next week.  Woo Hoo!!!
Meyer Lemon Marcapone Cheesecake
(print recipe)

For The Almond Shortbread Crust:

1/4 cup  almond meal (finely ground almonds)
1 1/4 cups  all-purpose flour
1/3 cup  sugar
1/4 teaspoon  salt
6 tablespoons  butter, chilled
1 large  egg yolk

For the Cheesecake Filling:

12 ounces  cream cheese
1/4 cup  sugar plus 2 tablespoons
1 tablespoon  Meyer lemon zest
1/3 cup  Mascarpone cheese
5 tablespoons  heavy cream
1/2 teaspoon  vanilla extract
2 teaspoons  Meyer lemon juice
2 large  egg, separated

For The Meyer Lemon Curd Topping:

3  large  eggs
3 large  egg yolks
1 cup  sugar plus one tablespoon
1 tablespoon  Meyer lemon zest
1/3 cup  Meyer lemon juice
1/4 cup  lemon juice
8 tablespoons  butter

For The Almond Shortbread Crust:
Combine the dry ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment. Add the butter and mix slowly until the mixture looks like bread crumbs. Add the egg yolk and just mix to distribute the egg. Do not allow the crumbs to come together. The mixture should look dry. Press lightly into the bottom of a 9-inch spring form pan and prick with a fork. Bake at 350 degrees  for about 15 minutes or until golden brown. Allow to cool.

For The Cheesecake Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, cream cheese and lemon zest. Mix until smooth. Add the mascarpone cheese and mix until just combined. Add cream, vanilla extract and lemon juice and mix until smooth. Stir in the yolks then transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl. Wash and dry the electric mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture then pour it over the shortbread crust in the spring form pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 30-35 minutes or until the center is almost set. Let cool, then refrigerate for three hours or overnight.

For The Meyer Lemon Curd Topping:
Whisk eggs and yolks together in a medium sized bowl. Add sugar and mix together thoroughly. Mix in zest and juices. Place the bowl over a pot of gently simmering water and cook until thickened (about 5 to 7 minutes), stirring occasionally. Remove from the heat and stir in the butter, stirring until it becomes completely melted. Pour the lemon curd over the cooled cheesecake and bake at 300 degrees  for 15 minutes. Allow to cool at room temperature then refrigerate for three hours or overnight.


11 comments:

healthyfoodietravels said...

Ohhh. Cheesecake. Mmmm. (*excusemydrooling*)
That looks amazing! I loved seeing all the different applications and dishes you chose for one ingredient, great themed week :) Thank you so much for sharing!

Not Quite The Farmer's Daughter said...

Oh my heavens that looks so incredible!!!! I wish I had one of those trees up here..there would be cheese cake on a regular basis :) Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe :)

Tina said...

Send me all those lemons, you are lucky to be overloaded with this wonderful fruit!
Your cheesecake does look amazing-how I would love to have that slice. Glad you posted this gem of a recipe-yum!

Cucina49 said...

I am not a cheesecake person normally, but the tangy lemon might convert me!

Julie at Burnt Carrots said...

Mascarpone again! Everyone seems to cook with this but me! I need to jump on the bandwagon. This looks like a great recipe to start with. Thanks!

Stephanie said...

I would love to take some of those lemons off your hands just so I could make this cheesecake!!!

Ashley@Bakerbynature said...

So jealous of your big beautiful tree! I would be making cheesecake like this everyday if I had the access to lemons like that :)

Ann said...

Wow - this is incredible! I appreciate the information regarding the shortbread crust...I would have tamped it down as hard as I could! This is absolutely stunning!

Helene Dsouza said...

my stomache is crumbling when I see that perfect chessecake. wish I had some now.

Maggie said...

Mmm...I adore Meyer Lemons. You are so lucky to have your very own abundant tree! Cheesecake is usually too rich for me, but I bet the lemon cuts some of that richness and just makes it absolutely divine! Thanks for sharing.

Anna said...

Your cheesecake made me hungry...I am actually doing a quick inventory of what I have in my cupboard so I can start creating your cheesecake. It really looks lovely! I have my improvised double boiler ready for the curd. Thanks!