This week's TWD.. I haven't said that in a while! was perfect in time for the holidays. It wasn't very tall because I halved the recipe and baked it in a 9x9 square pan, but it was very creamy! Instead of using the springform, I used a 9x9 square pan so I could bake it in a waterbath without having leakage problems. I totally forgot about the waterbath though so that totally defeated the purpose of not using springform. I was in a huge rush to bake it and have it properly chilled because I decided the morning of Christmas eve that I would bring it over for dinner after seeing Nancy from the Dogs Eat the Crumbs do her informative post for TWD (I love how she looks for other sources when she bakes). Luckily, cheesecake isn't one of those desserts where I have to worry about the crumb changing from soft and fluffy to dense and dry within a couple or hours and can be just thrown in the fridge without messing up the texture. I've tried storing regular cakes wrapped in plastic on the counter overnight, fridge and freezer, but everytime it changes for the worse so I have to make cakes fresh unless if it's chocolate, which actually improves in flavour overtime without sacrificing texture. The whole 'crumb getting even tighter' in the freezer thing doesn't seem to work for me and neither does wrapping the cake before it is completely cool to seal in the texture because that just turns the cake wet and heavy.
Anyway, back to the cheesecake that my family raved about.. I was so excited! I replaced a block of cream cheese with the low fat kind because full fat cheesecake is a little too rich. Cheesecakes are the only kind of dessert that doesn't stress me out because they always turn out delicious no matter which recipe you use.. maybe except for hyper low fat variations. After making cheesecakes with a handmixer, stand mixer and the food processor, I would have to say that the food processor is the quickest and always ensures the smoothest texture. There's barely any scraping involved too! Originally, I wasn't going to make a topping and just serve it plain, the way cheesecakes should be in my opinion, but when I opened the oven door, it looked like something hit it.. badly because there were cracks (huge ones) everywhere! I decided to cover it up with lemon curd instead of whipped cream because we didn't exactly need anymore cream. I don't think I've had real lemon curd before because this was amazing! If this is what the filling is supposed to taste like in lemon meringue pie, then I might actually love it. I love how with each addition of fat (butter then heavy cream), it just gets yummier and more luscious!
Thanks to Anne of Anne Strawberry for choosing this recipe, which can be found on her blog and in Dorie Greenspan's Baking: From my Home to Yours. Don't forget to checkout the TWD Blogroll!
1/3 cup juice from 2 lemons
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup (3 1/2 ounces) sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes and chilled
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
(I added 1/2 tsp of lemon zest for extra lemon flavour)
FOR THE LEMON CURD: While cheesecake bakes, heat lemon juice in small nonreactive saucepan over medium heat until hot but not boiling. Whisk eggs and yolk in medium nonreactive bowl; gradually whisk in sugar. Whisking constantly, slowly pour hot lemon juice into eggs, then return mixture to saucepan and cook over medium heat, stirring constantly with wooden spoon, until mixture registers 170 degrees on instant-read thermometer and is thick enough to cling to spoon, about 3 minutes. Immediately remove pan from heat and stir in cold butter until incorporated; stir in cream, vanilla, and salt, then pour curd through fine-mesh strainer into small nonreactive bowl. Cover surface of curd directly with plastic wrap; refrigerate until needed.