Lemons have always been a pretty obvious ingredient choice in the pastry world but recently lemons have seen a resurgence in pop culture thanks to a little someone named Beyonce. Have you heard of her? And while Beyonce uses the citrus fruit and its delicious quenching counterpart as a metaphor for rising above dirty nasty filthy cheating loser husbands, I prefer to use the citrus fruit strictly for consumption.
I think most of us would agree that lemons have never really been down in popularity among the masses. Across the board it seems that lemon desserts are the one treat that people lacking a sweet tooth enjoy the most. But this recent rise in fame has us all in agreement that lemons deserve their time in the limelight. Or shall I say lemonlight? I’ll let you sit with that joke for a second or two.
Lemon curd in particular seems to be a fan favourite. I have yet to find someone who doesn’t like lemon curd. Lemon curd could possibly be the eighth wonder of the world. Lemon curd is life. If lemon curd was found to have mystical properties I would not be surprised because that shit is goddamn delicious! Now if we add cheesecake, lemon poppy seed loaf, and Italian meringue into the mix, that’s some other level pastry shit we are dealing with. Enjoy!
(Almost) No Bake Cheesecake
For the graham cracker crust:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup melted unsalted butter
½ cup granulated sugar
- Preheat oven to 375°F
- Combine ingredients together in a bowl and mix until the butter has coated everything
- Press mixture into an 8 inch spring form pan
- Bake for 8-10 minutes
- Allow to cool fully before using
For the cheesecake:
1 1/2 cups full fat cream cheese
1 1/2 cups ml whipping cream
3 egg yolks
1/2 cup sugar
1 tsp light corn syrup
1/4 cup water
5 leaves OR 2 powdered gelatin packets
*This recipe works best if all ingredients are at room temperature
- Line the inside of the springform pan with parchment or waxed paper. This will stop the cheesecake from sticking to the pan when you loosen it.
- Bloom gelatin in cold water.
- Whip cream to a soft peak and set aside.
- Whip softened cream cheese until soft.
- Add a small about of the whipped cream (about 2 heaping spoonfuls) to the cream cheese and whip until light and fluffy with no chunks
- Combine sugar, glucose and water in a saucepan and boil to 240°F.
- While sugar is coming to temperature begin beating yolks in a stand mixer on medium speed.
- Once sugar has reached temperature remove from heat and with mixer on medium-low speed slowly temper sugar into yolks. Do not add sugar to yolks all at once as this will cook the yolks and nobody like scrambled egg meringue. Add a small amount of the sugar slowly and mix thoroughly and repeat at least two times, then you can add the rest of the sugar syrup, all while the whisk is mixing.
- Add gelatin while mixture is still warm. If you are using leaves you can add them directly until the mixture once they have bloomed. If you are using powdered gelatin you must melt the bloomed gelatin over a warm water bath before adding it to the mixture.
- Once the sugar syrup is added turn mixer to high and beat until the yolks become light and fluffy and almost double in size.
- Once cool turn mixer to medium speed and slowly add the cream cheese to the yolk mixture, mix until fully combined and smooth.
- Fold the whipped cream in until fully combined
- Pour into springform pan over the graham cracker crust.
- Cover with saran wrap (not touching the cake) and put in fridge to set (at least 4-6 hours but preferably overnight).
Lemon Poppyseed Loaf
(Makes 2 loaves)
1 cup butter
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
4 large eggs
3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
2 tbsp lemon zest
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
3 cups AP flour
½ tsp baking powder
½ tsp baking soda
2 tbsp poppy seeds
1 cup buttermilk
- Preheat oven to 350°F
- Grease loaf pans and set aside
- Cream butter and sugar together until light and fluffy
- Add eggs one at a time, then lemon juice, zest and vanilla extract. Scrape down bowl in between eggs.
- Combine dry ingredients in a separate bowl.
- Alternate adding flour mixture and buttermilk until all combined.
- Pour into prepared loaf pans and cook for 40-60 min, turning halfway through.
- Loaves are done once a cake tester is inserted and comes out clean.
- Remove from oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before removing from pans.
- Cool fully before using on cheesecake.
1/3 cup lemon juice
3 large egg yolks (save the whites for the meringue)
½ cup sugar
Lemon zest of 1 lemon
1/3 cup butter (you can use salted or unsalted here, the salted butter can be nice to even out the sweetness of the cake)
- Combine the lemon juice, yolks, sugar and zest in a sauce pan and cook over medium-low heat, stirring constantly to avoid the yolks from coagulating.
- Cook until the curd coats the back of a spoon (a thick coating).
- Remove from heat and pour through a strainer into a heat proof bowl.
- Stir in the butter
- Let curd cool a bit before drizzling over cheesecake
Lemon Italian Meringue
*You’ll need a sugar thermometer for this meringue.
4 egg whites
1 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Zest of 1 lemon
- Combine water and sugar in a saucepan and place over medium /high heat
- Begin to slowly beat the egg whites to form soft peaks
- Once the thermometer hits 220°F crank up the egg whites if you haven’t yet formed soft peaks
- When the syrup reaches 240°F remove from heat, turn the beaters to low, and slowly pour the syrup into the egg whites, avoiding the whisk.
- Whip the meringue on high until cool and doubled in size
- Add zest once the meringue is cool
- Remove the cheesecake from the pan
- Drizzle the lemon curd over the top of the cake
- Cut the lemon poppyseed loaf into chunks and arrange on top of the lemon curd
- Top the cake with heaping amounts of meringue
- Torch the meringue
- Stuff yo FACE!