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Individual Vanilla Cheesecakes with Lemon Curd

in Diana's Recipe Book

Average Rating: 
(total ratings: 6)
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Servings: Makes 6 mini cheesecakes
These lucious little vanilla cheesecakes with lemon curd are just right for serving when you have friends visiting for an afternoon lunch, or tea, or for a weekend brunch dessert.

Try making these with a graham cracker crumb base with a little bit of lemon extract added or finely grated lemon zest, to give them that extra lemon zing..................Diana

For Cheesecakes:
1 lb. cream cheese
1 lb. granulated sugar
1/2 vanilla bean,
split and seeds scraped out
1/2 oz. cornstarch
4 large eggs
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1/2 cup sour cream

For Lemon Curd:
3 whole eggs
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup granulated sugar
2/3 cup lemon juice
8 oz. unsalted butter
1/2 cup creme fraiche

For Graham Cracker Crust-Optional
1 1/4 cups crushed graham crackers
6 tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1/2 tsp. lemon zest, finely grated

Lemon slices
Mint sprigs

To Prepare Lemon Curd:
Butter and sugar six 4 oz. ramekins and set aside. In a double boiler whisk eggs, yolks, sugar and lemon juice. Cook until thick. Whisk in creme fraiche and butter until melted. Strain mixture through a chinoise, or sieve. (If doing graham cracker crusts, pat crust mixture into each ramekin bottom). Fill ramekins 1/8th of the way up with lemon curd mixture and set aside.

For The Cheesecakes:
Put on a kettle of water to boil, or if you don't have a kettle, boil at least 2-3 quarts of water in a large pot. (This hot water will be used for a "water bath" when you bake your cheesecakes).

In a mixer, cream the sugar and cream cheese. Scrape half of the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to mixture. Fold in the cornstarch, scraping down the sides with a spatula. Mix until soft. Incorporate eggs into mixture, one at a time and add vanilla extract and sour cream. Spoon or pour the cheesecake mixture over the lemon curd in the ramekins and place ramekins in a deep baking or roasting pan. Add enough of the hot water to the baking pan to come half way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour or until center is set. Carefuly remove pan (with water in it)to a cooling rack. Leave cheescakes in pan with water for 15 minutes, and then remove them. Pour water out of pan. (you are now through with the water bath water). Let cheesecakes cool on rack for 1 hour, then put them in the refrigerator to chill for at least 4-6 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, remove from refrigerator, and invert onto dessert plates or serve in ramekins. Garnish with small slices of lemon and a mint sprig.

Makes 6 servings.

Recipe adapted from: Michael Mina, AQUA Restaurant, San Francisco California.

Tip from Diana's Desserts: A graham cracker crumb base, with a small amount of lemon extract or finely grated lemon zest added, would be a nice addition to these little cheesecakes.

For graham cracker crust:
Place crushed graham cracker crumbs in bowl; add melted butter. With your fingers, mix thouroughly. Pat enough graham cracker crust mixture to cover the bottom of each ramekin. Fill with lemon curd. Set aside until you are ready to pour cheesecake mixture in ramekins and bake.

Source: Adapted from recipe by: Michael Mina, Aqua
Date: July 17,2002


Reviewer: P A De Paoli
These took a little more work than I would have liked. Then there was confusion about the layering. The picture showed the lemon curd on top of the cheesecake, but the recipe called for the lemon curd under the cheesecake. They did taste absolutely delicious, though.

Reviewer: Aelie
The overall taste was really good however it was a lot of work and like the first reviewer the directions were confusing when looking at the picture. I made it 2 ways, as the picture looks with Lemon Curd on top and as the directions say with lemon curd on bottom. The later was far better and easier to tell when done. The idea of inverting on a plate was appealing to me however nearly impossible to do without ruining it.

Reviewer: "V"
I don't like cheesecake but I went and made this and liked it. Like mentioned, the picture does not represent the recipe. Then the recipe says to invert cheesecake onto a plate. That would mean the crust is on top...

The recipe also does not make any mention as to what temperature to bake these individual cheesecakes at. Temperature can be extremely important. I went at 350 degrees F (180 degrees C), and they took only about 15 minutes to bake... So are they supposed to bake at a low temperature like 250 degrees F?

Lastly, on my first attempt the crust stuck to the bottom and only the lemon curd and cheesecake came out... My suggestion is to cut out little circles of parchment paper and stick them on the bottom, then butter and sugar the ramekins. When ready to take out just take a paring knife or something similar and cut around the edge to losen the sides. They should slide right out leaving the paper stuck to the bottom of the ramekins instead of the crust.

For leaving out a key factor such as baking temperature this only gets 2 "stars", plus when baked they would rise up and as they cool they started sinking back down.

But taste wise this is definitely a 5 as long as you only use a very little amount of lemon curd. To much and it over powers the cheesecakes and all you taste is lemon.

Reviewer: De (au)Gustibus
Taste delicious! However the proportions are for at least 20 cakes!! See pictures of my cheesecakes here (quite different from yours unfortunately..): http://deaugustibus.wordpress.com/2010/11/28/vanilla-cheesecakes-with-lemon-curd-by-dianas-desserts/

Reviewer: Margaret Ryan
This was poorly written and confusing!! If this makes six ramekins why would you use a POUND of cream cheese? I could have filled at least another 8 ramekins!! No oven temperature and misleading picture!! As I tasted each component, the lemon curd was wonderful and the cheesecake was very nice. It was a lot of work, which I don't mind if they would have come out looking like the picture!!

Reviewer: Kate
I was really excited to try this for my husband's birthday next week, but after reading through the directions, compared with the photo, no way. It's not the same and as such, the OWNER of this website should be ashamed of herself.


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