RECIPE: Meyer Lemon and Lime Cheesecake
Spring is here, and we celebrated a wonderful "dinner primavera" last night with friends. We cooked almost exclusively out of an old favorite cookbook of ours, "Spring" by Willam Sonoma. (Given as a gift on our 1 year wedding anniversary, so it holds a close place in our hearts.) We kept flavors green, light and refreshing with every course. It was a lovely night, with great friends and the dinner was superb. I'll post the full menu this week with recipes, links and photos in case you want to play with this theme for a spring dinner party, too.
We ended the night with this light yet decadent citrus cheesecake, adapted from "Spring". My kiddo who hates cheesecake loved it! It's not as dense and heavy as other cheesecakes, and I upped the sweetness of the lemon by using Meyer lemons instead. I also used a trick from Martha Stewart during cool down that allows for the cake to be super moist. It involves propping the oven door open and cooling the oven and cake down at the same time-super slow, while the cake still sits in the hot water bath.
The result is like eating a cloud of creaminess.
You don't need to make the candied peel, but it does add a nice feel and flavor to the cake. I cut my rind without the pith and touch of fruit attached, so mine were more crunchy than candied-so watch out for that. If this step is not for you, you could also make a lemon drizzle instead to dress it up at serving by mixing some lemon juice with confectioners sugar, and topping it with some more lemon zest.
Either way you top it, the cake is incredible. Don't count your WW points for this one, though. It'll depress you.
But splurging once in a while is OK! Hey, it's SPRING! Celebrate!
Meyer Lemon and Lime Cheesecake
adapted from Spring Cookbook, William Sonoma
3 Tbsp. sugar
1/4 cup softened butter
1 1/2 tsp grated Meyer lemon zest
1 egg yolk
1 cup flour
1/4 tsp. baking powder
pinch of salt
1 1/4 lb. cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp. grated Meyer lemon zest
1 Tbsp. grated lime zest
2 Tbsp. fresh Meyer lemon juice
2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
Candied Citrus Rinds
but use Meyer lemon and limes to match the cake flavors
First prep the pan and warm your oven to 325˚. Take a large 10" springform pan, and wrap the bottom and half the sides with tinfoil to prevent seeping of water or batter. Spray the pan with nonstick cooking spray, and line the bottom with parchment cut to size. Set aside.
In a food processor, pulse the sugar and butter until combined, scraping the sides. Next add the zest and yolk, and pulse until combined. Next add the flour, salt and baking powder. Pulse for bit until mixture resembles cornmeal and can be pressed together with your fingers. Scrape the sides and bottom as you go. Pour crust into the pan and with your palm and fingers, press into the bottom of the pan and slightly up the sides. Bake for about 20 minutes, until just golden. Let cool down, but keep your oven on.
Meanwhile, with a stand mixer, beat your cream cheese until creamy and loose. Next add the sugar and beat well. Next add the sour cream, juices and zest, and whip until well combined and creamy. Add each egg one at a time, and whip well after each addition until each egg is well incorporated. Finally add the vanilla just to smooth things out nicely, and let the mixer got for an extra few minutes just to make the cheesecake fluffy and light.
Before pouring the batter in, get your hot water bath set up first. It just helps everything go smoother. Place your pan in a large baking pan that can fit it so it sits flat. Heat up a kettle of hot water until just boiling, and have it waiting. Now add the batter evenly into the pan. Pour the hot water into the baking pan until the water reaches about 1" up the sides of the springform pan. Gently place the cheesecake and it's hot water bath onto the center rack of the oven. Bake for about 1 hour to 1 1/4 hours. You are looking for a "no jiggle" at the center. Once you have a cake that is set, turn off the oven BUT let it cool down in the hot oven, and keep the oven door slightly ajar. I set a towel to prop it open a few inches. Let the cake sit in there for another hour, cooling down slowly with the oven.
After that time, pull it out of it's bath, drain the bottom of water over a sink, and take off the foil. Let it cool down and cover with foil, and let chill until ready to serve. When ready to serve, decorate top with candied peel.