Introduction: Lemon Curd Cheesecake

About: When things don't go the way I want, I still hear my father say: ‘There is no such word as can’t.’ The things I make, I make thanks to him. He taught me how to bake and paint and everything in between, I got h…

Let's make a big lemoncurd cheesecake!
One of my favourite cakes is cheesecake and for lemon curd cheesecake you can even wake me up at night. Let's bake one!

Step 1: What You Need

What you need:
For the lemon curd:
130 ml of fresh lemon juice
Lemon zest of 3 organic unsprayed lemons
2 eggs
200 g. sugar
125 g. unsalted butter

For the cheesecake:
2 packets of Philadelphia cream cheese (à 226 g.) = 452 g. Preferable not the 1/3 less fat for a better result.
2 cups of mascarpone (à 250 g.) = 500 gr
300 g. sour cream or crème fraiche
100 g. unsalted butter
1,5 box of ‘Kandij koek’ (390 g.) or Graham crackers if you like a thick bottom otherwise use 1 box (260 g.) I choose a thick one
250 g. sugar
3 tablespoons of lemon juice
2 teaspoon vanilla extract
2,5 tablespoons cornstarch or flour
4 eggs

For the lemon curd:
Two pans which fit together,  the smallest pan definitely not aluminum because it gives a reaction with lemon juice. It discolors your pan and influences the taste of the lemon curd. The best is stainless steel, I use a copper pan with stainless steel inside However, if you spill lemon on the copper, this also gives a reaction.
Heat-resisting spatula or wooden spoon
Lemon or orange press
Measuring cup
Flat bowl
Plastic wrap
Glass jar with lid

For the cheesecake:
Oven, preferably with steam possibility or steam option (but be careful with steam, before opening your oven step aside see picture)
Food processor or rolling pin
Springform ø 26 cm
Baking paper

Step 2: The Lemon Curd

I prefer to make the lemon curd one day earlier. The curd can then slowly set up and become cold. For lemon curd, preferably use organic lemons, if these are not available you can clean lemons by soaking them for 10 minutes in water with a dash of natural vinegar and 2 tablespoons of baking soda.

Turn around after 5 minutes so that both sides are clean. Clean with fresh water and dry. This not only removes pesticide but also the wax layer. I had 6 lemons so I made a double amount of lemon zest and juice. Grate only the yellow of the skin, the white is bitter and not tasty. I used half now and the other half for the next time. Freeze the remaining juice in the freezer. The lemon zest stays well with 1 or 2 teaspoons of sugar and lemon juice in the fridge.

Grate the skin of the three lemons and press the lemons, strain the juice and measure 130 ml. Put aside juice and lemon zest. Weight sugar and butter.
Now add the lemon zest, butter and sugar in the smallest pan.

You make Lemon curd au bain marie:
Fill the largest pan with a bottom of water and hang the smaller one in it. Watch out that there is not to much water in de pan, it should not flow into the small pan. Do not turn the heat source too high, keep the water against boiling or it will splash into the curd.

Heat the lemon zest, butter and sugar until the butter has melted. When the butter has melted, add the lemon juice and the eggs. Now the real work and patience begins. Keep stirring calmly and well, the mixture will slowly become thicker. Note that the pan with water does not evaporate till dry and add some water if necessary. If the lemon curd is about as thick as yogurt then she is ready. This process takes about 20 minutes. Pour the lemon curd into a flat bowl and cover with plastic wrap. This sheet prevents forming a skin. Allow the lemon curd to cool. When the curd has cooled down, place it in a lockable glass jar and put it in the refrigerator. During cooling, the curd continues to increase.

First aid for lemon curd:
(sometimes this happens) if your curd doesn’t thickens enough then repeat the proces. Put the curd back in the small pan and add an extra egg yolk. Heat au bain marie and keep stirring till it become thicker,
Let cool down again.

Lemon curd remains well in the fridge for about two weeks.
Lemon curd is easy to freeze and will last for about 3 months. Lemon curd is not only delicious on cheese cake but also on ice cream, in the yogurt, as a sandwich spread, to make bonbons or when everyone is sleeping at night to secretly enjoy. Enough ideas for what remains.

Step 3: Cheesecake: the Bottom

Crumble the ‘kandij koek’ or graham crackers in a food processor / blender or if you do not have one between a sheet of baking paper with a rolling pin, do this careful otherwise the cookie crumbs are in your whole kitchen. Make sure that all cookies are fine and put them in a bowl. Melt the butter in a pan on a low heat and pour into the cookie crumbs. Stir well. Line the bottom of the springform with baking paper and cut away the excess paper. Spray some grisco along the side. Spread the cookie crumbs evenly over the bottom with a spoon and press firmly till you have a nice layer. Put the springform in the refrigerator.

Step 4: Cheesecake: the Cheese Layer

Put the Philadelphia and mascarpone in a bowl together with the sugar and two tablespoons of cornstarch (or flour) and mix into a soft creamy mass. The cornstarch or flour makes a cheesecake firmer but is not necessary, without this addition the cake will be slightly softer. Now add lemon juice, vanilla extract and the sour Cream or crème fraiche. Mix everything together. After this we need the mixer no longer anymore, the eggs are done by hand. Now add the eggs one by one in the cheese cake stir carefully each egg had to be completely dissolved before you stir in the next one. 
The eggs must be carefully hand-stirred to prevent the mixture from to much air. 
Too much air or heat will tear you cheesecake during baking. Now remove the springform from the refrigerator and pour the mixture into the spring form. Let it rest for a while while the oven preheats.

Preheat the oven to 140 ° Celsius, use only under heat. My oven has the possibility of cleaning with steam, but this function can also be used for baking with steam, you only have to fill the reservoir on the bottom of the oven. If your oven does not have this possibility then skip it for it is not always save to place a bowl with water in your oven. I like to use the function because steam reduces the chances of tearing the cheesecake and the cake remains creamier and softer but still firm. But watch out with steam, open your oven carefully and stay away from the door, steam gives ugly burns. To protect agains tearing you can also bake on a lower temperature, the baking time will be longer then.

Bake the cheesecake in 70 minutes. Turn the oven off after 70 minutes and put the door ajar. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for at least another hour. If you take it out earlier there is a risk the cheesecake will tear. Remove the cake from the oven after an hour, carefully cut the cheesecake off the edge of springform with a sharp knife and let it cool down further. As soon as the cake has cooled down it is time to put it into the fridge to continue to stiffen. Leave the cheesecake until the next day or for at least 6 or 7 hours.
Tip: if a cheesecake tears a layer of lemon curd or jelly will make it invisible.

Step 5: Day Two: Finally

But it is worth waiting. Now remove the cheesecake and lemon curd from the refrigerator. Because I promised half the cheese cake to a friend of mine who doesn’t like lemon curd I had to change the plan instead of a whole lemon curd cheesecake I made the topping half/half. Half the topping lemon curd for us and half the cheese cake with a mixed berry jelly for my friend. Spread a layer of lemon curd as topping on the cheesecake and cut the cake into pieces.
Cutting your cheesecake is easier by holding a sharp knife for each cut in a cup of boiling water, dry with kitchen paper and then cut. This way you get nice sharp pieces Clean your knife after each cut before proceeding and repeat from the first step. Enjoy your cheese cake!

If you like to make mixed berry jelly: use 250 g. Mixed berries, 2 tbsp sugar, 2 tbsp lemon juice and 50 ml apple juice. Bring all to boil on low heat and let it simmer till it thickens. Let cool down.

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