Friday, August 22, 2008

Lemon Lovers Cheesecake w/Hazelnut Crust

This is by far one of the best cheesecakes I've ever had or ever made for that matter. It was over the top delicious. I would say this cheesecake gives the Pumpkin Swirl cheesecake I make at Thanksgiving a run for it's money -and that's not easy to do either!

Now what makes this cheesecake over the top is the layer of Lemon Curd it's topped with and the drizzle of blueberry sauce that it's drizzled in. Without both of these I think this cheesecake would just be good not OVER THE TOP DELICIOUS! Sure it takes a little extra effort but it's worth it, this cheesecake will put you on the map, trust me!

Lemon Lovers Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust
Courtesy Bon Appetit

For crust
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel

-Lemon curd (store bought or homemade)
-Boothbay Blueberry Sauce

Make crust:Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Finely grind nuts, cracker crumbs and powdered sugar in processor.Add butter; blend using on/off turns until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs onto bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Chill while making filling.

Make filling:Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Slowly add sugar; beat until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating 30 seconds after each. Mix in lemon juice and peel.

Pour filling into crust. Bake cake until outer 2-inch portion of top is set and center looks slightly glossy and is barely set, about 45 minutes (do not open oven door at all during baking time). Shake cheesecake lightly and if the perimeter is set but the center is slightly wobbley it's done.

Place cooling rack in a cool area but in an area free of any drafts. Transfer cheesecake to rack and run a knife around the edge of springform pan. This will prevent the cheesecake from cracking when contracting from pan. Cool to room temperature (approx 2-4 hrs). Cover; chill overnight.

Remove cheesecake from refrigerator 30 minutes before serving. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen. Release pan sides. Top with Lemon Curd (approx 1/4 of an inch thick) slice and drizzle with Boothbay Blueberry Sauce. Serve extra blueberry sauce on the side.

Boothbay Blueberry Sauce

This was so incredibly fabulous, it wasn't even funny! The thing I liked most was the mix of spices in it, it almost tasted like Christmas. We had this drizzled over cheesecake but I'm sure this would kick butt on waffles, pancakes and especially over vanilla bean ice cream.

The original recipe makes a ton of sauce, so this is the recipe cut down and a link to the original. I plan to make these at the end of blueberry season, which is pretty much upon us, and giving them away as Christmas gifts.

Boothbay Blueberry Sauce
Courtesy of House & Garden August 1962
Makes close to 2 cups.

1 1/4 teaspoons lemon juice
1 1/4 teaspoons grated orange rind
6 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 1/4 cups sugar
1 1/2 cups blueberries
3/4 teaspoon cinnamon
a pinch of cloves

Stir the lemon juice, orange rind, orange juice and sugar in a large pot. Bring to a rolling boil. Add berries and bring to a full boil again. Add cinnamon, cloves and boil hard, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and strain for a smoother sauce or don't strain it for a more rustic look. Cool and use at room temperature. If not using right away refrigerate after cooling.

*If using for waffles or pancakes you can probably just reheat in microwave.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Score one for the little guy...

ME! Like Batman and The Joker, like Xavier and Magnito, tempering eggs has been my arch nemesis since the beginning of time. And today I can proudly tell that chapter of my life to suck it! For today I have made LEMOM CURD!!! But that's not all, I've made lemon curd, successfully! -and tasty to boot!

When I read the review for this recipe a couple of people suggested adding an extra egg yolk and straining the lemon curd. Well a lot of people made it as written and loved it. So I made it as it was written with the only exception being to strain the curd once I took it off the stove top. The reviewers recommended straining it to remove the lumps but mine didn't have any lumps the only thing that stayed in the strainer was the lemon zest, which by the way wouldn't bother me if it was in the curd.

Any who, it's tasty and a must try. The thing is I did cook it in low heat not moderate low heat because I really, really didn't want to end up with scrambled eggs like I always do. So it took a lot longer to cook than the six minutes it estimates. It took almost 15 minutes or perhaps more, but it was worth it. I'd rather have spaghetti arm from stirring than scrambled eggs from hurrying. -you can quote me on that :)

Lemon Curd


1/2 cup fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest

1/2 cup sugar

3 large eggs

3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into bits

Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes.

Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour.

Cooks' note:
• Curd can be chilled up to 1 week.