How to make a Cheesecake both Lemon Curd and Pistachio
Years ago I ran a catering business with a friend of mine. As well as whipping up cocktail parties and dinners in peoples kitchens all over town we supplemented our business making cakes and other baked goods for restaurants and cafes. One of our most popular cakes was a banana cheesecake with a sour cream frosting. It was so popular each week the orders continued to grow and we had to buy a large commercial oven. The cheesecakes were crammed in to the oven in increasing numbers and during this time we started to notice some problems. Our cheesecakes seemed to be developing unwelcome splits that could not be disguised with sour cream frosting . In fact there was no disguising the fact that they started to look like the Swiss Alps covered in snow. We rang the guru of baking in Sydney Lorraine Godsmark of Lorraine’s patisserie who had already perfected her cheesecake and she was kind enough to give is some advice. This is what I have discovered over the years when baking cheesecakes.
Because of the number of cheesecakes that we made it wasn’t possible to use a water bath. This is a very common way to even out the temperature when cooking a cheesecake. I don’t commonly use this method, my oven is extremely cool. If you want to bake using this method then see here.
First dont be afraid to make a cheesecake. This is how to make a cheesecake you will love
- Cook cheesecakes at a very low temperature. 150-160 deg C or 300-325 deg F
- Do not over bake. The middle of the cheesecake will have a nice wobble in the centre when you take it out of the oven
- Bake your crumb base before adding the filling. Then cool. The base has lots more texture and crunchiness once baked first. Make sure the crumbs have a touch of sugar and are not too dry. It needs to cook into a lovely firm base
- Soften the cream cheese before using
- I always make my batter in a food processor . This makes the batter very smooth and shiny without beating in large volumes of air. The batter should be lump free and silky. Beat the cheese and sugar, flavourings and liquids then add the eggs when the cheese is mostly mixed.
- Cool (refrigerate) the cheesecake completely and for at least 4-6 hours or overnight before taking it out of the springform pan.
- Always run a warm knife around the diameter before opening the sides of the springform off.
- Smooth around the out side with a clean flat bladed warm knife to get rid of the outside of dents and rough bits.
- 100 gm biscuits marie or granita or something plain
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 75 gm butter melted
- 500 gm cream cheese
- 2 whole eggs or 3 smaller ones
- 3 tablespoons lemon Juice
- 4 tablespoons caster sugar
- 375 ml thickened cream or heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 100 ml lemons Zest (juice of 2)
- 1/2 cup caster sugar
- 100 gm butter cubed chopped
- 4 whole egg yolks beaten
You can make this recipe by substituting 250gm ( 8oz) - (half) ricotta instead of all of the cream cheese if you like.
Make the base with gluten free biscuits and serve with chopped fruit such as mangoes and berries to reduce work or sugar.
I made the Pistachio version using 100 gm (3.5oz) pistachio paste, 4 Tablespoons sugar, 2 cups cream, 2 Tablespoons of lemon juice, 250 gm ( 8oz) ricotta and the same in cream cheese and 3 eggs. The topping was made from 250 gm ricotta in the food processor with 1/4 cup + 1 Tablespoon pure icing sugar, 1/2 cup of cream, 100g (3.5oz) pistachio paste in a food processor till very smooth. This makes a great pistachio cream ( or cheesecake dip)
You can buy Pistachio Paste on line at www.lario.com.au.