Monday, 22 February 2016

Lemon Cheesecake

An exclusive from Niloufer's Kitchen
Lemon Cheesecake

Cheesecake  is a popular dessert all over the world. Here is one that can be made in your own Kitchen and shared with your family and friends. It can be made well ahead of a party; simply keep it well covered refrigerated. Do not freeze.

Here I share my family recipe which has been appreciated for over 50 years. Make it your own with any topping you enjoy like fresh berries, lemon curd, passion fruit curd, black cherry topping or just on its own.
The trick to a perfect cheesecake is to allow it to set while cooling down in the oven. Turn the oven off while there is a generous jiggle in the center of the cake.It will gradually set to perfection!!




The texture of the cheesecake should be soft and creamy


Dressing up the cheesecake with fresh berries makes it look scrumptious.


Prepare a 9 inch spring form pan with a parchment paper at the bottom.


Pastry

The pastry can be made by hand with your finger tips, by using two butter knives or simply in a food processor using the pulse button.

In a bowl cut together with two knives, until it resembles crumbs


1 cup flour

1/4 cup sugar
125gm/4oz salted butter
zest of one lemon

Mix together in a small bowl and add to the dough


1 egg yolk

1 tsp vanilla extract

Knead together and leave it to rest. 


Cut into 3 equal pieces. Use 2/3 to cover the base of the pan, pressing it down with your finger tips. ( It is simpler to do this with your hands over a rolling pin.)


Bake in a preheated oven of 325F/160C for 8 to 10 minutes until a slight colour shows on the pastry.

Allow it to cool.
Using the rest of the  1/3 pastry, cover the sides of the pan. Using your thumb go around the edge to make it equal in height.

Filling


In the food processor blend until smooth

500 gm/ 1.1lb Paneer ~ home made ricotta
1 1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup cream
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
1 tsp vanilla
2 tbsp plain all purpose flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/3 cup fresh lemon and/or lime juice


Once it is smooth pour into the prepared shell.

Place in a hot oven of 400F/200C and immediately reduce the heat to 275F/140C. Allow it to set for 40 minutes.Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool for an hour until it sets.Chill and serve.

The cake must jiggle in the center.  It will then set as it cools and that softness  is what the creaminess depends upon that tastes delicious.


Tips

The texture of this cheese cake is dependent on two things. The smoothness of the filling. So make sure its silky and not at all grainy. This in turn is dependent on the cottage cheese you are using. For best results use freshly made paneer while its warm or bring it to room temperature before use.

Secondly the baking. Over baking makes the texture grainy. Allowing it to set on a lower temperature slowly ensures that the mixture does not curdle, or get too hot at any point. The "Jiggle in the Middle" is crucial when you finish. 

The cheese cake is delicious on its own but a  mixed berry compote makes it look prettier and tastes even better. Lemon curd topping for the lemon lover, and dark cherries topped all over can be absolutely amazing. Passion fruit curd is my very favourite. It is a strong taste and start with mixing lemon and passion fruit to avoid the pungent flavour which may be not to everyone's delight.


Do not freeze this cake as the texture is ruined.

This crust can be made in minutes when you use the food processor and the texture remains the same. Use the pulse button for best results.

Place the spring-form pan on a tray to avoid having to clean up  any "drip" from the pan.




For more delicious recipes from Niloufer's Kitchen click on
Niloufer's Kitchen : French Bistro from read.amazon.com

and

Niloufer's Kitchen : Spanish Tapas from read.amazon.com


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