Culturally, here in Greece when it is your birthday, you buy sweets and treats for the people around you – your friends, co-workers, and family. It was to be my birthday in a few days, and I have known these 2 girls who work for George for quite a long time – Hro and Sophia. They asked once if I can make them a lemon pie, and I was tempted to make them a Key Lime Pie but I thought a Lemon Cheesecake would be better.
I have never made a cheesecake before. This is my first attempt, and I have to say I am very pleased with the results! I am keen to make more in the near future, maybe with different fruits and flavours.
- 225g of Digestive biscuits
- 100g of butter
- 250g of Mascarpone cheese (which usually means 1 tub)
- 600g of cream cheese (which usually means 3 tubs if you buy the normal-sized Philadelphia tubs)
- 2 large eggs, plus 2 egg yolks
- zest of 3 organic and unwaxed lemons, and the juice of 1 (save the juice of the other 2 for the lemon curd)
- 4 tbsps of plain flour
- 175g of caster sugar
Lemon Curd Topping
- juice from 2 lemons (from above)
- 2 large eggs, plus 1 egg yolk.
- 175g of caster sugar
- 2 tbsps of cold butter, cut into small cubes
- 1 tbsp of heavy cream
- a pinch of salt
- 1/4 tsp of vanilla extract
For the cheesecake:
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C. Line the bottom of the springform tin with baking paper. (I used a big 23 cm diameter tin).
- Place the biscuits in a food processor and blitz to make fine crumbs. Alternatively, place the biscuits in a resealable plastic sack, and bash with a rolling-pin.
- Melt the butter in the microwave (in small intervals of 10 seconds). Mix into the crumbs thoroughly.
- Line the tin with the crumbs, and press down flat with the spatula. Chill in the fridge.
- Whisk the mascarpone, cream cheese, eggs and egg yolks, lemon zest and lemon juice, flour and sugar together in a large bowl until completely combined.
- Pour the mixture into the chilled tin.
- Bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes, or until the cheesecake has a uniform wobble when you shake it lightly.
- Turn off the oven, and leave the cheesecake inside the oven to cool. Once completely cool, remove from the oven and it is now ready to be garnished.
Lemon curd topping.
- While waiting for the cheesecake to bake and cool, we can start with the lemon curd.
- In a pot, heat the lemon juice on medium heat, until it is hot but not boiling.
- In a bowl, whisk the eggs and egg yolk together and gradually whisk in the sugar. Whisking constantly and continuously, add the hot lemon juice into the egg mixture gently and slowly, and then return the mixture to the pot.
- Continue to cook over medium low heat until it has thickened – it should be thick enough when it can coat the back of the spoon.
- Remove the pot from the heat immediately and whisk in the butter cubes until it has completely melted.
- Stir in the cream, vanilla essence and salt, and mix thoroughly.
- Pour the curd into a small nonreactive bowl. Cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap (this is to prevent it from crusting) and refrigerate.
The finishing touches:
- Once the cheesecake has cooled, top the cake with the lemon curd topping. Make a thin layer, and cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours. Its best if you can overnight.
- Once you are ready to serve, heat a thin sharp knife with some hot water, and dry it. Run the knife around the edge of the tin, and remove the springform tin.
- Cut a slice and enjoy! You can serve with a little bit of whipped cream to counteract the sharp tang of the lemon curd.