Petite Power ~ Lemon Berry Cheesecake

If you make mini cheesecakes, should you feel bad if you eat more than one?

Lemon Berry Cheesecake

Although this may seem like an innocent little cheesecake, it really is quite amazing (if I do say so myself!)  I used Dorie Greenspan Baking From my Home to Yours  Tall and Creamy Cheesecake recipe and added quite a bit of meyer lemon zest and juice to the recipe.  This recipe is perfect…  Just the right mix of creaminess and density that you would expect in a cheesecake.  Not at all chalky and dry like some cheesecakes.  Just PERFECT!

I told myself that if I made them mini size, that it would help with “portion control.”  Well, they are portioned, but I clearly lacked control!  I made them in a jumbo muffin tin, the ones with 6 holes.

6 cup pan

Some may have issue with the little cracks on the top of these lovely cheesecakes, but I like to see them as evidence of homemade goodness!  To adorn these cheesecakes, I opted for a mix of raspberries and blackberries that I mixed with a little blood orange syrup that I made.  The slight citrus notes in the syrup and the tartness of the fruit paired really nicely with the creamy, lemony cheesecake.  It was so very good.

Which is why I ate almost all of my cute, mini, well portion-controlled cheesecakes… How could I possibly resist.

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Lemon Berry Cheesecake

Based on this recipe by Dorie Greenspan:  Baking from my Home to Yours
Serves 6
Ingredients

For the crust (I didn’t have any graham crackers so I had to get creative).  
1 cups shortbread cookies
1/4 cup slivered almonds
1 tablespoons brown sugar
tablespoon sugar
Pinch of cinnamon
Pinch of salt
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the cheesecake:
2  8-ounce boxes cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
Zest of 2 meyer lemons
Juice of 1 meyer lemon
2 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 heavy cream (or a combination of heavy cream and sour cream)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Crust:

  • Place 6 jumbo muffin liners in large muffin tin.
  • In food processor, add shortbread cookies, almonds, sugars, salt and cinnamon and blitz until small crumbs form. Pour melted butter over mixture and stir until all of the dry ingredients are moist. Add 1 – 2 tablespoons of mixture to each muffin cup. Using a cup, press mixture firmly in the bottom of muffin cup.
  • Bake crumb crust in oven for 5 minutes, let pan cool while you make the filling.
  • Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
  • Boil water in a kettle (or pot) for water bath.

Cheesecake:

  • Put a kettle of water on to boil.
  • Using a stand mixer, mix the cream cheese at medium speed (about 4 on KitchenAid) about 4 minutes.
  • Add the sugar and salt and continue to beat for about 4 minutes. At this point the cream cheese should be light in color.
  • Mix in the vanilla, then add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition.
  • Reduce the mixer speed to low (maybe 2 on KitchenAid mixer) and slowly mix in the heavy cream.
  • Divide the batter between the 6 muffin cups. You should fill the batter about 3/4 full.
  • Place the cheesecake filled muffin pan on the middle rack and place a pyrex baking dish on the rack below it. Slowly pour in the boiling water from the kettle into the pyrex dish below the pan. This will create a nice steamy environment for the cheesecake.
  • Bake the cheesecake for 45-50 minutes. At this time, the color will have changed slightly and they will be a little puffed (this will go down after awhile).
  • Turn off the oven and crack your oven door a bit and let the cheesecake rest in the oven for another 30 minutes. at which point the top will be browned (and perhaps cracked) and may have risen just.
  • Once the cheesecake is cool, cover them lightly and TRY to let them chill in the refrigerator for 3 hours or so.

Berry Topping

1/2 cup blackberries, washed and dried
1/2 cup raspberries, washed and dried
2 tablespoons blood orange syrup, warmed slightly (or any good jam warmed)

Mix lightly to combine and adorn your mini cheesecakes accordingly.

ENJOY!

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