Mini Lemon Cheesecakes

The perfect dessert for spring; tart lemon curd atop lemon cheesecake and a nilla wafer crust. These mini cheesecakes are sure to please any lemon lovers in your life!

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes-1

I’ve fallen completely head over heels for these amazing little lemon cheesecakes. They’d be a perfect dessert to indulge in this Easter, or any time this spring. The recipe mostly comes from My Baking Addiction, except that I used my favorite recipe for lemon curd and I used a homemade vanilla wafer crust instead of just a vanilla wafer cookie in the bottom of the cupcake liners.

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes // bakingyum.com

If you feel like making your own lemon curd isn’t something you’d like to do, my guess is that you could probably easily use canned lemon pie filling or store-bought lemon curd with great results. And of course if you don’t want to go to the trouble of making a nilla wafer crumb crust, you could definitely just put one nilla wafer in the bottom of the muffin liners to make this recipe even more easy. That being said, if you have the time and want to try something new and AMAZING, make the crushed wafer crust and the homemade lemon curd. Believe me when I say the extra work is worth it!

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
Author: © Amanda Jenks
Ingredients
  • Nilla Wafer Crust:
  • 1 cup finely crushed vanilla wafer cookies
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, melted
  • Cheesecake Layer:
  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • zest of one medium lemon (approx. 2 teaspoons)
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 cup lemon curd (homemade recipe below)
  • 24 fresh raspberries
Instructions
To make the crust:
  1. Preheat the oven to 350˚F. Line one standard size muffin tin with paper liners.
  2. Mix the cookie crumbs, sugar, and melted butter together until the mixture resembles wet sand. Divide this mixture evenly between the muffin liners, and press down tightly with the tips of the fingers to make a crust.
  3. Bake crusts in preheated oven for approximately 4-5 minutes, or just until lightly brown and fragrant. Set aside and let cool completely.
To make the cheesecake layer:
  1. Preheat the oven to 325˚F.
  2. Combine the lemon zest and the sugar in a small bowl. Mix with your fingertips until the sugar becomes moist and smells like lemons.
  3. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the softened cream cheese for about 2 minutes. Add the lemon sugar and mix until combined. Add the eggs, vanilla, and lemon juice, and beat just until smooth.
  4. Divide cheesecake mixture over cooled crusts (the liners will be pretty close to full). Tap the muffin tin lightly on the counter to release any air bubbles in the cheesecake mixture.
  5. Bake for 20-24 minutes or until the centers are almost set (the edges will appear set but the centers will jiggle slightly when the pan is moved).
  6. Cool completely in pan on wire rack. After a couple of hours move the cheesecakes to the fridge*.
  7. Just before serving, top each cheesecake with a heaping tablespoon of lemon curd and two fresh raspberries.
Notes
*the cheesecake centers will deflate upon cooling.

Mini Lemon Cheesecakes // bakingyum.com

Homemade Lemon Curd
Author: [url href=”http://sweetapolita.com/2013/03/lemon-meringue-delight-cake/” target=”_blank”]Sweetapolita[/url]
Ingredients
  • 2 teaspoons lemon zest
  • 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice (from approx. 4-5 lemons)
  • 2 whole eggs + 4 egg yolks
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small cubes and at room temperature
Instructions
  1. Fill a small saucepan with 1″ of water. Place a heatproof metal or glass bowl on top of the saucepan (making a double boiler). Make sure that the bowl fits snugly into the saucepan and that the bottom of the bowl does not touch the water.
  2. Remove the bowl from the saucepan. Whisk the lemon juice, eggs, egg yolks, and sugar together in the bowl until smooth. Add the butter to the top but do not stir.
  3. Heat the water in the saucepan on medium low heat until it simmers. Place the bowl on top of the saucepan again. Heat, stirring constantly but gently with a heatproof rubber spatula or wooden spoon until the curd is thickened and all of the butter has melted and is incorporated. When the curd is finished it will also coat the back of a spoon.
  4. Strain the curd into a bowl through a fine mesh sieve. Stir in the lemon zest.
  5. Cover with plastic wrap (press the plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd to keep a skin from forming) and chill in the fridge for at least 3 hours.
Notes
Lemon curd can be made up to one week ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator until ready to use.

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