Lemon Cheesecake – A Favourite Dessert
Don’t you just sometimes fancy a particular dessert? Lemon Cheesecake has always been top of my list of desserts, especially the thick ‘New York’ style cheesecakes. And this Lemon Cheesecake recipe is surprisingly easy to make.
The cheesecake desserts you get in restaurants and supermarkets can be fairly mediocre, and the good ones, very expensive.
So I prefer to make them – they are really not very difficult and always impress. I often bake a cheesecake when we have family or friends for an informal lunch or dinner.
Lemon cheesecake is one of those delicious desserts that is special for an occasional treat. Easy to make – and impress your friends!
The Ingredients For Cheesecake
Whilst not very cheap it is not nearly as expensive as such a good quality cheesecake would be to buy in the shops.
I use Sainsbury’s own cream cheese – which was a total of £3 for 600g. Sometimes you could be lucky and get the cream cheese on offer
The other ingredients are simple, just 1 lemon (2 if you like it extra lemony) 3 eggs, sugar, some currants and glace cherries and some sour cream for a topping. This large cheesecake costs between £3-£5 depending on the cream cheese you buy. It is enough to serve 8-10 people so it is under £1 for a good thick slice.
This is clearly not a dessert you will make very often, being high in fat and calories, but it makes a tremendous treat once in a while.
Cream cheese is made from whole cows milk. There are some reduced fat options available , but when I am making something like this, because it is quite a rare treat I do not feel like compromising, by using lower fat versions as the results are not likely to be as good.
The recipe has a sour cream topping. Sour cream is fermented double cream. It still has a creamy flavour but with a little tang. Apart from the sour cream and the biscuit base, all the ingredients are mixed together gradually in one bowl and then baked.
Using Egg Whites
The recipe requires you to separate the egg yolk from the whites. When you are doing this, it is important not to get any yolk in the whites as this will prevent the egg whites from whisking into a stiff mixture. I also learned a good tip that of a pies of shell escapes into the white, it is best to use another piece of shell to scoop it out with – easier than chasing it around the bowl with a spoon!
Also, do ensure that the bowl you use for the whites is very clean and grease free. Some people recommend that you run a lemon around the bowl to make certain. To help to prevent wasting all your egg whites if you did get a little yolk in, the best way is to separate each egg in a different bowl and then pour the white in with the other egg whites, once you know it is successfully separated and consists only of pure egg white. This method creates more washing up, admittedly, but prevents you wasting eggs.
Use a large bowl for the egg whites. This allows plenty of air to get in the whites and ensures you have plenty of room for the expanding volume. Whisk until the eggs form soft peaks. You do need to be careful not to over whisk or the egg whites will go dry.
I made this cheesecake in a loose bottomed 23cm deep cake tin. You need a deep cake tin for the volume of mixture. The cheesecake rises up considerably when baking, and subsides a little as it cools.
This cheesecake is delicious served by itself, but can also be served with cream or a good vanilla ice cream.
Lemon Cheesecake Recipe
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 35 minutes
Total time: 50 minutes
- 175g / 6oz digestive biscuits
- 75g / 3oz butter
- 600g / 1lb 5oz cream cheese
- 200g / 7oz sugar
- 3 eggs, separated
- 1 tablespoon cornflour
- 1 lemon
- 50g / 2oz currants
- 40g / 1.5oz glace cherries
- 150ml / 5 floz sour cream
- 2 tablespoons caster sugar
Prepare the Biscuit Base
- Grease a 23cm, loose bottom cake tin
- Make the biscuits into crumbs.
- Crush in a bowl with the end of a wooden rolling pan, or place in a bag and roll with a rolling pin
- Melt the butter by heating gently in a saucepan
- Press evenly into the cake tin
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees C
- In a large bowl, mix together the cream cheese and sugar with a wooden spoon
- Add the egg yolks and beat
- In a separate bowl mix the juice and of the lemon with the cornflour
- Grate the rind of the lemon
- Stir the lemon rind, cornflour and juice, currants and cherries into the cream cheese
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites until sift and forming soft peaks
- Using a metal spoon, stir the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture
- Spoon into the cake tin and bake for 30 minutes, or until firm
- Meanwhile, combine the sour cream and sugar
- Once the cheesecake is baked, top with the sour cream mix and return to the oven for 5 minutes
- Leave to cool, then remove from the cake tin and refridgerate to chill before serving