– This Meyer lemon cheesecake is so easy to make you’ll think it dropped out of the sky. –
I consider myself a chocolate girl through and through, as you can see by my recent infatuation with this crazy four-layer Dark Knight Chocolate Cake. Despite my love of chocolate, sometimes I get the undying urge to cook through a huge amount of fruit.
This usually happens when a ginormous bag of Meyer lemons appears on my doorstep, usually a generous gift by a friend with a fruit tree that’s gone prolifically insane, and I’ve only got only a week before they go bad. What in the holy hell am I going to do with ten pounds of Meyer lemons?
It’s almost a silly question, really. I’m going to bake with them, of course.
(Which reminds me – it’s about the time of year that Garrett starts threatening to drop-ship me industrial-sized burlap sacks full of kumquats.)
The Key: An Epic Meyer Lemon Cheesecake.
What to do with them all? I love Meyer lemon meringue pie, but that’s been my go-to for, oh, 25 years now.* I wanted something new. Something rich. Something so decadent that I’ll want to hide in the closet and eat it all myself, growling like a rabid cat, not willing to share a bite with anyone.
Ok, that’s not really how I roll. Anyone who’s ever been to my house realizes very quickly that they won’t leave my clutches until they’ve been stuffed to the gills to the point of bursting—but you get what I mean. I wanted something stupid good.
My first thought for “stupid good” is always cheesecake. My second thought is lemon curd. My third thought, of course, has to be “GET THEE TO THE GROCERY STORE, STAT!” There’s no stemming the urge to bake once the culinary gods have you in their grip. So off to the store I went, and the end result is this gorgeous little Meyer Lemon Cheesecake, complete with dreamy mascarpone cheese.
Made with smooth, rich mascarpone cheese and topped with a tart lemon pudding made from fresh Meyer lemons, this cheesecake is best suited cut into dainty little slices for after dinner. A little goes a long ways here, making this a great cheesecake for a party. A hint of cayenne in the cheesy filling lends a little something-something, and your guests will never be able to figure out why they love the mystery zip.
Don’t tell them. It’ll be our little secret.
*Holy shit, when did I officially become old enough to say I’ve been baking for over 25 years? >.<
Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Recipe with Mascarpone
For the Crust:
- 2 cups ginger snap crumbs (about 9 ounces of cookies)
- 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
For the Mascarpone Filling:
- Two 8-ounce packages cream cheese at room temperature
- Two 8-ounce containers mascarpone cheese at room temperature
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest from 2 lemons
- 4 large eggs at room temperature, and beaten
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4 tablespoons flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- Pinch cayenne pepper
For the Lemon Filling:
- 4 tablespoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup cold water
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 tablespoons Meyer lemon zest
- 8 large egg yolks
- 1/2 cups Meyer lemon juice
- 1/2 cup unsalted butter chopped into small pieces
- Whipped cream for topping
- Lemon wedge jelly candy for garnish
Make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 325°F (163°C). Combine ginger snap crumbs, melted butter, and maple syrup and stir until well mixed. Press into the bottom of a greased 9-inch springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. Set aside to cool. Leave oven on.
Make the mascarpone filling:
- Add the cream cheese to the bowl of an electric mixer and beat until creamy, about two minutes. Add mascarpone, sugar and lemon zest, beating on low speed for 1 minute, until the texture is smooth. Do not over-beat, as mascarpone will occasionally go to pieces if abused. Turn the mixer to medium and add eggs a little a time, and then the vanilla, again beating until smooth - about 30 seconds. Add flour, salt, and cayenne, beating for another 30 seconds.
- Pour mascarpone filling into the cooled springform pan and wrap the bottom and sides tightly with heavy duty tin foil to keep butter from leaking out into your oven (see headnote--springform pans are notoriously leaky). Bake for 45 to 50 minutes. The top should be slightly browned and a little jiggly in the middle. Cool for 15 minutes, then run a knife around the edges of the cake to loosen it from the pan. Allow to cool completely before adding lemon filling.
Make the Meyer lemon filling:
- In a cup, stir together cornstarch and water until you have a well-mixed slurry. Set aside.
- In a small bowl combine sugar, salt, lemon zest, and egg yolks, beating well with a whisk. Add in lemon juice, stir well, then add butter and cornstarch slurry, whisking again.
- Pour the lemon filling into a saucepan and cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, about 5 to 7 minutes. It should be thick enough to heavily coat the back of a spoon. If the mixture begins to boil, lower the heat to medium-low.
- Remove pan from heat and continue to whisk for 1 minute. Push the filling through a sieve to remove any lumps, then pour the filling into the springform pan on top of the baked cheesecake. Chill for at least six hours to set the cake completely before removing the sides of the springform pan. Serve with a dollop of whipped cream and a slice of lemon jelly candy, if you like.
This content was originally posted on FearlessFresh.com.