Sunday, July 13, 2008

Little Bites of Cheesecake


Sometimes things just happen right.

Yesterday Mom asked me if I would help her make some appetizers for a meeting she had today, and I was thrilled to help. (I ended up making assorted dips and some vegetable boules) but of course it is dessert I love making. Any excuse to make lemon curd is good with me. But I didn't make lemon curd.


I digress. The kismet thing. There was a yard sale we came across on our way to the farmer's market. I stopped to look and found a mini cheesecake pan. My plans for lemon curd tarts went out the window. How awesome would it be to make mini cheesecakes!

So that's what happened. And I still could have made lemon curd, but I had a jar (it's too eggy for me) in the cabinet, so I just used it and focused on cleaning up the kitchen instead.

Mini Lemon Ricotta Cheesecakes
makes 12 mini cheesecakes

Note: I adapted this from a Amy of Eggs on Sunday who adapted it from a recipe from Bon Appetit that doesn't require this special pan. It required ramekins, which I don't have.

16 graham cracker squares (about 4 1/2 ounces)
3 Tablespoons butter, melted
1 Tablespoon honey or agave nectar
2 Tablespoons cold water

1/3 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 Tablespoon finely grated lemon peel
8 ounces cream cheese or neufchatel , room temperature
1/2 cup (3 3/4 ounces/110 g) whole-milk ricotta cheese
1 large egg

1/3 cup lemon curd
1/2 pint fresh berries

Preheat the oven to 425. To make the crust, pulse the graham crackers in a food processor until finely ground. While running the processor, add the butter, honey, and water. Process until thoroughly moistened.

Divide the crumb mixture among the wells of the mini cheesecake pan (about 2 teaspoon to 1 Tablespoon per well) and press down firmly with fingers to flatten.

Bake the crusts for about 5 minutes until the crusts are turning golden brown and slightly puffed. Remove the pan and let cool slightly.

For the filling, beat together the sugar, lemon juice, and lemon peel until the sugar dissolves. Add the cream cheese and ricotta and beat until well blended, about a minute. Add the egg and beat until incorporated.

Divide the batter among the wells of the pan (about 2 Tablespoons each).

Place the cheesecakes in a 400ºF oven and bake for about 20 minutes, until puffed and set around the edges. Cool on a rack and then chill about two hours, until cold. The centers will cave a bit, but that's fine.

Unmold the cheesecakes, top with a dollop of lemon curd and garnish with berries.


redforever said...

I have done this and it works well as well.

I use muffin tins. I place a vanilla wafer cookie or a chocolate wafer cookie in the bottom. Then I put the cheescake filling in, bake as usual and put my toppings or fruit on after. Works very well and saves making a graham wafer crust.

Anonymous said...

But wouldn't they be difficult to remove from the tins?

Patricia Scarpin said...

Mar, I think you can call these little bites of heaven. :)

Foodiemom said...

Those look delicious, Mar. You are quite the baker!

Anonymous said...

These came out so beautifully! Well done! I love the blueberry trio and gentle curl of lemon zest on top.