Weekend Challenge: Lemon Cheesecake

21 Apr

Sometimes I listen to rap music while I bake. I hope that doesn’t completely ruin your perfect little homemaker image of me in a pink frilly apron. (I do, in fact, have two pink frilly aprons.) The truth is, baking energizes me. I love dancing around the kitchen or, more accurately, shaking it in place while my stand mixer does the heavy lifting.

Baking also makes me feel like a scientist. I love sitting in front of my oven after I put my cake/cookies/muffins in to bake and watch as they grow and puff into perfection. Edible perfection. I feel accomplished as I’m taking my fresh treats out of the oven. I actually made something! Just because I love to bake doesn’t mean I also craft, knit, and home decorate. Baking is just about the only homemaker-ish skill I have, but that’s OK, it has great rewards.

This recipe was the first one I ever used to make a cheesecake. Cheesecake always intimidated me. Like, how do you even make a cheesecake? How is it a cake if it doesn’t have the typical flour/sugar/butter ratios? Well after you’ve made your own cheesecake, you suddenly don’t care about those questions anymore. You just know it tastes good, and you made it. I like this recipe because it’s straightforward and doesn’t call for outrageous ingredients. I commission you to make it this weekend. Make it your weekend challenge. And then enjoy.

Source: Comfort Food

Makes 12 servings

Ingredients

For the crust:
2 c. graham cracker crumbs
½ c. slivered blanched almonds
6 T. sugar
8 T. unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
2 lbs. cream cheese, room temperature
2 T. flour
¼ t. salt
1 ¼ c. sugar
½ c. sour cream
1 T. vanilla extract
zest of 1 lemon
3 eggs, room temperature

fresh strawberries for topping

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.  Butter a 9-inch round springform pan. In a food processor, combine the cracker crumbs, almonds, and the 6 T. sugar and process until finely ground. Pour in the butter and pulse until well blended and evenly moistened. Transfer to the buttered pan and press evenly into the bottom. Bake until golden and set, about 7 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.

To make the filling, in a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, flour, and salt. Beat on medium-high speed until smooth, stopping as needed to scrape down the bowl. Add 1 ¼ c. sugar, the sour cream, vanilla, and lemon zest, and beat until blended, again stopping to scrape down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Bake the cheesecake until the filling is set but the center still jiggles slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour. (The filling will firm as it cools.) Transfer to a wire rack. Carefully run a sharp knife around the inside of the pan to loosen the cheesecake. Let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.

Top individual slices with fresh strawberries.

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One Response to “Weekend Challenge: Lemon Cheesecake”

  1. Uncle Julian April 21, 2012 at 8:52 am #

    You are so funny !! Really enjoying your blog. 😉 it always makes me smile.

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