4/22/10

Lemon Curd Marbled Cheesecake



Well, I just finished 1½ hours on the treadmill
. Oops. Typo. I meant, I just finished half a cheesecake for lunch.
I developed a craving for a simple lemony dessert, something befitting my simple tastes. And on a fickle whim, I went with Lemon Curd.

Then, Thumper upped the ante by claiming I hadn't made his favorite cheesecake "in like, forever." And the idea for a cheesecake, infiltrated with amorphous blobs of lemon curd was born. Far be it from me to impugn his request...


I  cut out individual servings  from the chilled 9-inch cheesecake with a biscuit cutter,  in the hopes that  no temptation would befall my diet, and overall good intentions.  Is my sarcasm showing?

By the way, the (botanically-incorrect) hyacinth on the plate was made by rolling fondant into an egg shape, if you will. Next, the stem and leaves were added. Then I cut out gazillions of tiny flowers and glued them onto the fondant egg with a paste made from Gum Arabic.
(If you're convulsing in your chair  because you don't know what the hell kind of thing I speak of, then forget about  the Gum Arabic,  and use Royal icing instead).

Actual size not shown.


Lemon Curd Marbled Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce

Crust:

2 cups all-purpose flour
¼ cup  packed light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Pinch salt
14 tablespoons  unsalted butter, diced

Lemon Curd:

4 large egg yolks
½ cup + 2 tablespoons sugar
3 ounces lemon juice
4 tablespoons (2 oz) unsalted butter, softened
Pinch  salt

Filling:

1 pound cream cheese, softened
¾ cup sugar
½ cup sour cream
3 large eggs, room temperature
1½ teaspoons vanilla extract

Blueberry Sauce:

1 pint fresh blueberries
¼  cup  sugar
2 tablespoons water
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice


Preparation

Crust: Preheat the oven to 350°F. Combine flour, sugar and salt in the bowl of a food processor. Add the butter and vanilla extract, and process until a dough forms. Press the dough into a 9-inch Springform pan and bake 10 to 15 minutes, or until it just begins to turn color.  Remove from the oven and allow to cool.

Lemon Curd:
In a heavy  saucepan, beat the  egg yolks and sugar until blended. Stir in the remaining ingredients. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly, until it thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Don’t allow the mixture to boil or it will curdle.  Press a piece of wax paper right on the lemon curd, to prevent a crust from forming, and  set aside to cool. (If  lemon curd will not be used right away, cool completely, and then, store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks).

Filling:
Combine  softened cream cheese, sour cream and sugar in the bowl of a food processor, and process until smooth. Add the eggs and vanilla extract and process  until incorporated.
Pour half  of  the filling mixture in the prepared crust.  Spoon half the lemon curd onto the filling. With a knife,  swirl lemon curd through filling, taking care not to disturb the bottom crust. Repeat with the remaining cheesecake filling and lemon curd.
Bake in a 350° F oven until set, about 45 minutes. The  center should still jiggle when gently shaken.  Run a knife around the sides of the pan to loosen, and allow  to cool, about 1 hour. Refrigerate uncovered cheesecake  for several hours. Then, cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate  overnight.


Blueberry Sauce:
In a medium saucepan combine all ingredients and cook until   blueberries begin to break down and the sauce is slightly  thickened, about 10 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.


Enjoy. For tomorrow, some of us will recite  three hail Marys, followed by a strict diet...for the rest of us, there's always next Monday.