Rich Cream Cheesecake
1 1/3 C. all-purpose flour
1/2 C. butter, cut in small pieces
1/4 C. plus 1 Tbsp. sugar
1 egg yolk, reserve white
Pinch of salt
Grated peel of 1/2 lemon
1 C. milk
1 C. granulated sugar
Pinch of salt
Grated peel of 1 lemon
4 egg yolks
2 envelopes unflavored kosher gelatin
3 Tbsp. water
2 C. whipping cream
2 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese
|To make shortbread, sift flour into a large bowl. Dot with butter.
Make a well in the center and add sugar, egg yolk salt and lemon peel.
Working from the center outwards, quickly knead all ingredients to a
smooth dough. If too crumbly, add a small amount of reserved egg white
until consistency is right. Press into a ball and wrap in plastic wrap.
Refrigerate 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375�. Grease 1 large baking sheet and bottom only of 10 inch spring form pan. On a floured surface or between 2 sheets of plastic wrap, roll out dough to make 2 10-inch rounds. Place 1 round on baking sheet and pierce all over with a fork to prevent it from rising unevenly during cooking. Place the other round on the bottom of the spring form pan. Bake both rounds for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. While still warm, cut round which was pierced with a fork into 12 equal pieces (or more for smaller portions). Cool both on racks.
To make filling, put milk, sugar, salt, lemon peel and egg yolks into a double boiler. Heat gently, stirring constantly until smooth and slightly thickened. Remove lemon custard from heat and transfer to a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, dissolve gelatin in water over low heat. Stir into lemon custard; cool. Whip cream until stiff. Beat cream cheese to soften. When custard begins to set, stir in beaten cream cheese. Put mixture into a blender or food processor with knife blade attachment and process until smooth. Return to bowl and carefully fold in whipped cream.
Replace pan bottom with crust into spring form pan and line sides with a strip of waxed paper. Spoon in cream cheese filling; smooth the surface. Arrange cut shortbread on top to form a round. Refrigerate until set. When completely set, remove cheesecake from pan and carefully peel away waxed paper. Sift powdered sugar over cake.
VARIATIONS: For a less lemony flavor, put only peel of 1/2 lemon into the filling. You can also add fresh or frozen fruit to the filling. If you use frozen, thaw, drain and sweeten to taste. For fresh, wash and dry fruit and sprinkle with sugar. Allow fruit to sit for a few minutes before adding to the filling. This makes a very elegant and light dessert. This is especially nice for those who prefer the no-bake cheesecakes over the traditional baked ones. It's a little extra work, but worth it for special occasions. (Jana Clark)