Sunday, April 14, 2013

Lemon Cheesecake with Pistachio Nut Crust (Gluten Free)

I found this note stuck to my fridge.

Eat anymore of this cheesecake and containment will no longer be an option. Have just one more slice and I will tender my resignation. 

Your Jeans.

I am never ever making this cheesecake again.

If I never make this cake again it will be too soon.

I ate far more of this than was considered polite, certainly far more than is healthy or even sane. 

I am making this cheesecake again tomorrow.

Not for me because my jeans would stage a revolt. 

A friend asked me to make this for her daughter's birthday and I am happy to oblige.

This cheesecake is meant to be shared.

Your jeans will thank you if you do;-)

Lemon Curd Cheesecake with Pistachio Nut Crust (Gluten Free)
Yeild: one 9" round cheesecake
* recipe adapted from The Shiksa in the Kitchen

1 cup lemon curd ( warmed slightly)


2/3 cup shelled pistachio nuts (salted)
1/2 cup cassava farine 
1/3 cup granulated sugar
5 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

3 8oz packages of Philladelpia cream cheese
3/4 cup granulated white sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tsp vanilla essence


Remove cream cheese, eggs and butter from the fridge and bring all ingredients to room temperature before you begin.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom of your springform pan with butter. Cut a 9" round  parchment paper circle and place on the bottom of your spring form pan. 

Put the pistachio nuts, cassava farine, sugar and salt in the food processor. Pulse until the nuts are finely processed. Let the machine run and drizzle the melted butter int the nuts. Once all the butter has been added put the crumb mixture in the prepared springform pan. Use the back of a spoon or a rubber spatula and press the crumbs evenly on the bottom and about half way up the sides of the pan.

Bake the crust in the oven at 350 degrees F for 8-10 mins until the crust starts to brown and smells fragrant. You will notice that the crust puffs up a bit and swells rather like a pastry pie crust. This is because cassava swells when it absorbs the moisture from the butter. Simply press it back in place with the back of a spoon when you remove it from the oven. 

To make the filling:
Beat the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand mixture fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat at medium speed until fluffy ( approx 2 mins). Add the eggs one at a time. Add the vanilla and beat for a few seconds more.

Grease the sides of the pan with butter. I find it easier to use a baking spray. Spoon the filling into the pre-baked crust and spread out evenly. Warm lemon curd slightly in the microwave. (I made the mistake of using mine straight from the fridge and it was too cold. As a result the curd sank to the bottom and my cake did not have a pretty marbled pattern). Drop lemon curd by spoonfuls randomly over the cake and run a butter knife through the curd to make a swirling pattern.

Fill a baking dish with warm water and place it on the lower shelf in the oven. Place the cheesecake on the shelf above the water filled tray.

Bake the cheesecake at 350 degrees F for for 50 to 60 mins. The center of the cheesecake will still be slightly wobbly. It will firm up when cool. Leave the oven door slightly adjar and let the cheesecake cool for an hour, Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack until the pan no longer feels warm to the touch. 

Refrigerate overnight before serving.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

It's no big deal, Lemon curd (Microwave Version)

A spoonful of lemon curd over my breakfast makes my medicine oatmeal go down in the most delightful way! To really appreciate how HUGE a deal that is for me I direct your attention to this.

Those of you who make curd on the stove top know that it involves stirring, stirring, stirring AND stirring over a low heat until the thing thickens. It's a tedious process during which my mind wanders. I start thinking about socks and laundry, I make the grocery list in my head.  I wonder.....dagnabbit will this thing be done in time for the next episode of Game of Thrones? I look down......

Gah! I have scrambled eggs. Not cool.

Today you are gonna want to high five-me.

If we aren't already friends, you are going to want to be my friend.

Hello friends! I have an easy peasy lemon curd recipe for you. It seriously is no big deal to make this. No scrambled eggs, I promise.

The hardest part is keeping the spoon out of your mouth between stirs.  

FYI, you might not want to do that as I have it on good authority that hot lemon curd burns like a motha!

That’s real.

Before this, I purchased lemon curd at the gourmet shop. An extravagance to be sure since this one little jar of curd costs a small fortune. But those days are behind me since I discovered this recipe.

The microwave has got to be the strangest invention of modern times. Almost everyone owns one of these giant, space-age looking heaters but few actually cook with it.

I am one of the few.  Until now....

now I cook curd, a lot of curd.

Please don't freak's just juice, eggs, sugar and butter stirred in the microwave.

You can totally do this.

And when you are done put a dollop over your porridge,

in your yogurt

or on your pancakes,

bake a lemon meringue pie

or just eat it straight from the spoon, cause yeah ..........that's not strange, not in the least, especially not in my home.

Lemon Curd ( Microwave )
yield 2 cups

1 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (unsweetened)
3 eggs
1 tsp of lemon zest
1/2 cup plus 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
1/2 cup butter (melted)
pinch salt

Add sugar to lemon juice and taste. Add more sugar a tablespoon at at time until you are satisfied with the taste. Most recipes I have seen call for a cup of sugar so my using 1/2 cup should tell you that I like a fairly tart curd. Adjust sugar to your taste.

In a 4 cup sized glass measuring cup, melt butter and let it cool. To this, add the now sweetened lemon juice, and eggs. Mix well with a whisk.
Microwave on high for one minute.
Remove from microwave and whisk vigorously.
Repeat, microwaving for one minute at a time and whisking until it coats the back of a spoon. (depending on the microwave this will take 3-5 mins)

In my microwave the curd was done in 4 mins.

Spoon test: Dip a small spoon in the curd. Let it cool a bit and run your finger across the back of the spoon. If the curd holds the finger mark, it is done. If the custard flows and closes the mark then it needs to cook some more.

Once the curd is done transfer to a jar and store in your fridge.

Assuming you don't eat it all right away, it lasts 2 weeks.

When I don't have lemons I use a reputable brand of unsweetened, from concentrate lemon juice.