Saturday, May 3, 2014

Lemon-Saison Cheesecake {Cooking with Beer}

Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to meeeeee. Happy birthday to me. Yes, it's true...I made my own birthday cake. As my husband noted: "You do that so we won't buy one at the store!" True.

I was inspired by a Lemon-Pilsner Cheesecake in The Craft Beer Cookbook: From IPAs and Bocks to Pilsners and Porters: 100 Artisanal Recipes for Cooking with Beer by Jacquelyn Dodd. Of course, I had to tweak it since I can't follow a recipe to save my life!
  • 3 C crushed graham crackers
  • 1/2 C (one stick) butter, melted
  • 2 T organic coconut sugar
  • zest from one organic lemon
  • 2* - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 3/4 C organic coconut sugar
  • 3 large eggs
  • 2 C organic sour cream
  • 1 t saison (I used Hennepin by Brewery Ommegang)
  • 1 t pure vanilla extract
Sour Cream Topping
  • 2 C organic sour cream
  • 1 T vanilla
  • 1 T saison
  • 1 T organic granulated sugar
  • 4 organic Meyer lemons
  • 3/4 C organic granulated sugar
  • 8 T butter
  • 8 large egg yolks

*I only had 2 packages of cream cheese. I would use 3 in the future. No other changes needed!

For the Crust: Mix all of the ingredients together until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture into the bottom of a springform pan that's been wrapped in foil. Chill crust while preparing filling.

For the Cheesecake: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Beat cream cheese in large mixing bowl until fluffy. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs - one at a time. Finally, mix in sour cream, saison, and vanilla extract. Spoon filling into prepared crust.

Place springform pan in large pan. Pour boiling water into roasting pan to come up as high as you can on the springform pan. Place ramekins filled with water around the cheesecake, too. Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Check about halfway through the baking time and pour more water into the pan, if needed.

Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour, leaving oven door ajar.

I know there are things to do to get your cheesecakes not to crack. But, since I cover it with a sour cream topping, I don't worry about it too much.

For the Topping: Beat the ingredients together. Spread over the cheese cake and bake in a 350°F oven for 5 minutes. Let cool for and hour and prepare the lemon curd.

Zest the lemons, squeeze and strain the juice. Combine the zest, juice, sugar, and butter and bring to a boil. Meanwhile beat the yolks. Add 1/3 of the boiling liquid to the beaten yolks then add the mixture back into the boiling liquid. Continue whisking over medium heat until it thickens. Be careful not to let the curd boil or it will scramble. Pour the curd into a bowl and press plastic wrap against the surface to prevent a film from forming.

Cool to lukewarm, and spoon over cake. Let the cheesecake chill for as long as you can in the refrigerator. Mine set for about 10 hours.

Run a butter knife around pan edge to loosen cake. Cool completely. Remove foil from pan sides. Remove pan sides to serve.

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