HF's very favorite dessert in the whole wide world is cheesecake. It doesn't really matter what kind of cheesecake as long as it is cheesecake. For the last few years we've been lucky to have a friend that makes cheesecakes for a living. She sells them to local restaurants/delis/bakeries and makes pretty good money from it. She knew of HF's love for the cheesecake so whenever she created a new recipe, she would bring us over the entire cheesecake for taste testing. She knew that not only would we happily consume and give her feedback, but we would share our abundance with other friends. I commisioned her for HF's 29th birthday to make a lemon cheesecake and it was spectacular. This is what that one looked like. You can see Luke's 18 month old finger marks on top.
Of course, her recipes are top secret so I will never know what she did to make it so amazing. She's moved now, so we don't have her cheesecakes anymore, but now I'm trying to become a good cheesecake maker. Some of the flavors she made us were dark chocolate, pumpkin with candied praline topping, lemon, "regular", that's all I can think of right now. WOW they were good. Better than The Cheesecake Factory, and better than the NY cheesecakes I tried when I visited NYC.
Now on to HF's 31st birthday cheesecake. I took these pictures in a hurry so we could get to eatin' it. I used this recipe from allrecipes.com except I used 2 cups of graham cracker crumbs, 1 teaspoon of cinnamon, and then 1 cube of unsalted butter. I mixed to crumbs with the cinnamon and then poured in the melted butter. I used a 9-inch springform pan and I only packed the crust on the bottom, not along the sides. I like a thick graham cracker crust.
I wanted to make a lemon cheesecake, but wasn't sure on a good recipe or how to alter one, so I decided to use a lemon topping.
Lemon Curd Topping 2 eggs, beaten1 cup sugar1/4 cup butter at room temperature1 teaspoon lemon rind1/4 cup fresh lemon juicePlace all ingredients in a small saucepan. Cook and stir with a whish over medium heat until the sauce becomes thick and just starts to bubble. Remove from heat. If you dip in a spoon and pull it out, you should be able to make a clear track mark down the middle with your finger without the sides running to fill your finger mark. If that makes any sense. Cool, cover, and chill.
After the cheesecake was done and refrigerated over night, I took the chilled lemon curd and poured it in the middle of the cheesecake. It spread very easily. I refrigerated it until we were ready to eat it. I added fresh strawberries and HF said that it tasted like a strawberry-lemonade topping. It was SO GOOD. I think that the lemon curd made it.