Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce

This lemon cheesecake is perfect for the spring and summer.  I made it for Easter dinner and it was a hit. Lemon desserts are a favorite of mine and find their popularity is often underestimated. Topped with seasonal berries this treat is the perfect combination of sweet and creamy. Cheesecakes are typically a hit, but traditional cheesecake is a very heavy and not-so-healthy dessert. I lightened the sugar in the recipe and went with a lower fat cream cheese to make it a bit healthier.

I invested in my first springform pan to make this recipe and I can't believe I have baked all these years without one! This type of pan has sides that can be removed from the base and is latched together during the baking process. It is commonly used with delicate dessrts like cheesecakes and tortes.  Cutting a cheesecake was never as easy. Even the first piece was perfect, something I would not be bragging about if I used a pie pan. I would suggest buying a non-stick variety to be sure nothing sticks to the sides.

Springform Pan

Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Sauce
Serves 10

2 cups graham cracker crumbs*
2 tbsp white sugar
5 Tbsp melted margarine
3 8oz light cream cheese (Neufechel), softened
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1/3 cup light sour cream
2 Tbsp lemon juice 
1 1/2 lemon extract
1 jar lemon curd
2 cups of frozen berries (I used raspberries)
1 Tbsp lemon juice

* You can make your own graham cracker crumbs by crushing plain graham crackers or pulsing in the food processor. They are also sold prepared in the grocery store. I discourage the use of pre-made graham cracker crusts because they and not as flavorful as freshly made crusts.

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
2. Make the crust: Combine 2 Tbsp sugar, graham cracker crumbs, and margarine in a bowl. Press into the bottom of aa 10" springform pan, set aside.
3. Whip the sugar and cream cheese in a bowl with an electric mixer, until light and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beating well after each addition. Beat for 5 minutes.
4. Add the sour cream, lemon juice, and extract and mix well.
5. Add half of the cheese filling to the crust. Drop teaspoons of lemon curd on top. Pour remaining cheese filling on top. Drop teaspoons of lemon curd on top and swirl into filling gently with a knife.
6. Bake for an hour and 10 minutes. Remove from heat, chill for at least 2 hours.
7. Take a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. Remove the sides of the springpan.
8. Heat the frozen berries in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook for 10-15 minutes stirring gently. Add lemon juice and remove from heat. Chill for at least 20 minutes.
9. Top each piece of cheesecake with 2 Tbsp berry sauce.


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