Um. Where do I start? Merry Christmas, happy holidays, nice to see you...
BEST. RING. EVER. Derek popped the question two weeks ago while we were having a quiet evening at home — no flashy Broadway show proposal (fine with me!), but a very heartfelt evening between the two of us. We waited a week and a half to announce (publicly), which was SO SO SO HARD. Now the news is out, and we're as thrilled as can be! Get ready to be annoyed with wedding decorations!
As exciting as this news is, these cheesecakes are *almost* as riveting: they're cute, they're delicious, and they're REALLY easy to make!
Start by making the crust. Graham crackers + sugar + butter = surprisingly tasty unbaked...
Press it into your ramekins! Aren't these Le Creuset ramekins the cutest? I need about ten thousand more.
Then you layer some cheesecake batter with curd, give it a swirl, and pop it in the oven! I did just one layer of curd between two layers of batter — but you could do whatever makes you happy.
Pop those suckers in the oven and bake 'em up! When they're done, let them cool completely (hardest step ever), then put a nice layer of curd on top.
Just TRY not to eat all of these in one sitting. Seriously.
Mini Lemon Curd Cheesecakes
Adapted from Gourmet Magazine, July 2006
Makes 8 individual servings
2 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
⅔ cup fresh lemon juice
⅔ cup sugar
4 large eggs
5 tablespoon unsalted butter, cut into small pieces
1 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup sugar
⅛ teaspoon salt
4 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
2 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened
⅔ cup sugar
2 large eggs, room temperature
½ cup sour cream, room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla
Start by making your curd. In a small saucepan, combine lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and eggs. Whisk to combine and begin to cook over low heat, continuing to whisk regularly. Cook until the curd has thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter, piece by piece. Let the curd cool slightly, then press plastic wrap directly on top of the curd until ready to use. This can be done up to two days ahead of time.
Next, make the crust. Preheat the oven to 350 F. In a food processor, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and salt: pulse until combined. Pour in the melted butter and pulse until the crumbs resemble wet sand. Divide the crust equally between ramekins, and press into the bottom. Place the ramekins on a baking sheet (for easy transport), and bake for 8-10 minutes. The crusts should turn golden-brown and be set in place. Let these cool completely before proceeding.
For the filling, beat the softened cream cheese together with the sugar until completely smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until smooth. Add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla: beat until smooth.
Reduce the heat of the oven to 300 F, and begin heating a pot of water.
For assembly, spoon cheesecake batter into each ramekin until about ½ full, then spoon a thin layer of curd, and another thin layer of cheesecake batter. Using a butter knife, gently swirl the fillings together, being careful not to disturb the crust below. Repeat with each ramekin.
Place the ramekins in a shallow dish, and pour your hot water into the dish so that it comes at least ½ way up the ramekins. Put the entire dish into the oven, and bake for 25-30 minutes. The edges should be set, but the center of each cheesecake should still be able to shake gently. Remove from the oven, but let the cheesecakes cool in the water bath until room temperature. Cover, and move the the fridge overnight.
After the cheesecakes are fully chilled, top with another layer of lemon curd, and enjoy!