Sunday, March 25, 2012

Honey-Lemon Cheesecake

Twelve years ago today I had seven different cheesecakes as my wedding "cake." Each was topped with a tuille cookie that had a different word on it: Passion. Love. Joy. Friendship. Life... You get the idea.

You would not believe how many bakers I approached who asked, "Are you sure you want to serve cheesecake at your wedding? You know not everyone likes cheesecake, right?" It's my wedding. I don't care if people don't like cheesecake! I probably sounded like a bridezilla. I wasn't, but I know what I want and I wanted cheesecakes.

So, as our anniversary dessert tonight, I whipped up a mostly plain and white cheesecake. I did add some honey and lemon zest. He can deal with the added flavors, it's my anniversary, too.

2 C crushed cinnamon graham crackers
1 C ground almonds
1/2 C (stick) melted butter
2 T organic granulated sugar

Mix all of the ingredients together until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of a springform pan that's been wrapped in foil. Chill crust while preparing filling.

3 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 C organic granulated sugar
3 large eggs
2 C organic sour cream
1 T organic honey
zest from one lemon
juice from one lemon

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in sour cream, zest, and juice.

Transfer filling to prepared crust. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour, leaving oven door ajar.

If you would like to top the cheesecake with a sour cream topping, beat together 1-1/2 C sour cream, 1 T vanilla, and 1 T organic sugar. Spread this over the cheesecake and bake in a 350 degree oven again for 5 minutes.

Transfer cake to rack. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Cool completely. Remove foil from pan sides. Cover cake and chill. Ideally you want to chill the cheesecake overnight. I only had today, so it chilled for about 6 hours. Remove pan sides to serve.

I garnished my slice with bee pollen and candied kumquat.

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