Thursday, May 8, 2008

Lemon Cheesecake

On Saturday my buddy Mark and his wife Chris had a Derby Party. They asked me to make a dessert so I opted for this lemon cheesecake that I had made before. It's a Bittman recipe from How to Cook Everything. Mark's coworker asked for the recipe so I typed it out and figured I would include it here as well with my comments.

Here you go. It's a bit more complicated than your
traditional cheesecake recipes, but I really like it
because of the light texture. This is from Mark
Bittman's How to Cook Everything.

Graham Cracker Crust

12 tablespoons unsalted butter
12 ounces broken graham crackers
6 tablespoons of sugar.

Melt butter over low heat in saucepan. Combine sugar
with graham cracker crumbs. Slowly add the butter and
combine. Press the crumbs into the bottom of a
well-greased nine-inch spring form pan. (You can
probably go with a bit thinner of a crust and use only
nine or ten ounces of graham cracker crumbs.)

Lemon Cheesecake recipe
4 eggs separated
24 ounces of cream cheese
Grated zest and juice of one lemon
1 cup of sugar
1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour

Sour cream topping (I didn't do this for the one I
made Saturday)
2 cups of sour cream
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees

Using an electric mixer beat the egg yolks until
light; add the cheese, lemon zest and juice, and 1 cup
of the sugar and beat until smooth (you'll want too
leave the cream cheese out at room temperature for a
couple of hours to soften before making the
cheesecake). Stir in the flour.

Beat the egg whites until the hold soft peaks (I use
an electric mixer). With a rubber spatula gently fold
the egg whites into the yolk cheese mixture until
combined thoroughly. Add the batter to the prepared
spring form pan.

Bittman now suggests cooking the cheesecake in a water
bath. I've made this a couple of times, once with and
once without. You use a water bath to prevent the eggs
from curdling, but the chances of this happening are

If you don't want to take any chances, place a
roasting pan or another large pan in your preheated
oven. Place the cheese cake in the center of the pan
and fill the larger pan with warm water until it comes
within an inch of the top of the spring form pan.

Cook for about an hour or until the top of the cake is
very lightly brown.

If you want to add the sour cream top, after removing
the cake from oven crank the heat up to 450 degrees.
Add the topping and place back in the oven, without
the water bath, for 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and
let cake rest in the oven for about 30 minutes. Remove
from oven and let rest for another 30 minutes and then
place in the fridge.

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