Friday, March 16, 2012

lemon cheese cake

I have not posted for awhile getting caught up in work and computer problems but thank goodness all is fixed.  I have been thinking about Spring!  Spring has hit western pa, almost to the point of summer, the tulips are breaking loose and makes me think about my spring garden and then thoughts to easter.  I love cheesecake for easter!   This cheesecake fits the bill for all the heavy chocolate we will be devouring, heavy meals with lamb or ham, nothing is better to top it off than a light tasting special  cheese cake.

What makes this cheesecake so special??  Well, for one thing, it tastes like cheesecake!  Not snickers or turtles or whopppers or any of the conglomerations that are being done to cheese cakes.  Even seeing some of those cakes, with the loads of chocolate or candy such as skittles or jelly beans make my teeth ache.  I really love the rich decadent cheese flavor combined with a touch of lemon and perhaps a few strawberries.  Simple you say, yes but beautiful and probally simply the best cheescake I ever had.  This cheese cake originally came from the dallas junior league cook book but one my aunt who was a founding member adored.  

  • For the Crust:
  • 2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 25 single crackers, crushed)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons melted butter
  • For the Filling:
  • 3 8·ounce packages cream cheese, softened
  • 3 eggs
  • 11/3 cups sugar
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
  • For the Sour Cream Topping
  • 1 pint sour cream
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • For the Glaze:
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 cup water (I substituted 1/2 cup Limoncello for the water but it’s optional. I also ended up adding just a touch of lemon paste color. )
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
Prepare the Crust:
  1. Combine cracker crumbs, sugar and butter. Press into bottom and up sides of an 11 to 12 inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees for 5 minutes. Cool before adding filling.
Make the Cheesecake:
  1. Beat cream cheese with electric mixer at high speed until completely smooth.
  2. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition.
  3. Continue to beat, gradually adding 11/3 cups sugar, then lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla.
  4. Stir in lemon rind.
  5. Pour into cooled crust and bake at 350 degrees for 35 minutes.
  6. Blend sour cream topping ingredients.
  7. Remove cake from oven. Gently spread sour cream over top of cake. Return to oven and bake about 12 minutes.
  8. Cool on rack for 30 minutes. Refrigerate until topping is cool but not completely chilled.
  9. Make glaze by combining sugar and cornstarch, blending in water and lemon juice until smooth. Bring to a boil, stirring constantly, until thickened. Cook 3 minutes. Chill until cool but not set.
  10. Spread top of cheesecake with lemon glaze. Chill several hours or over­night. Can also be frozen.

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