Saturday, March 3, 2012

A Lighter Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

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(8 inch cheesecake)

I've been curious about light Japanese cheesecakes, but almost every recipe I've come across uses half a dozen eggs and requires you to bake it in a bain-marie. The sad thing is that's not even that difficult to set up a water bath, but for some reason an extra step like that will more often than not have me clicking to the next recipe. I ended up making a few adjustments to my go-to recipe based on a couple of things I gleaned from various Japanese cheesecake recipes.

My cheesecake was definitely lighter than a conventional American cheesecake, but denser than a traditional Japanese cheesecake. It was fluffy and creamy. All in all, I was thrilled with how it turned out and ended up using only half the amount of cream cheese! This delicious cheesecake with it's delicate lemon flavour was perfect with a bit of whipped cream and fresh berries. OK, it didn't really need the whipped cream, but I had some! :D

8oz pkg neufchatel or cream cheese, (not the whipped kind)
2/3 cup sour cream
3 egg yolks
2 tbsp freshly squeezed Meyer lemon juice
fresh zest from 1 Meyer lemon, about 1 tbsp
1/4 cup cornstarch
3 egg whites
1/2 cup fine granulated sugar

freshly whipped cream
fresh berries

Prepare an 8 inch springform by cutting a piece of parchment paper to fit  the bottom and a strip to go along the side of the pan. Set aside.

Place the neufchatel and sour cream into a microwave proof bowl. Microwave for 10-15 seconds at a time to warm everything up just enough so you can whisk the cheese and sour cream together; you just want to soften the ingredients, not heat them up too much.

Whisk in the egg yolks, lemon juice, zest and cornstarch. Set the mixture aside when it's well combined.

Preheat oven to 250°F.

Beat the egg whites until they are frothy, then gradually beat in the sugar. Continue to beat until you get firm peaks.

Fold the egg whites into the cheese mixture, and pour into your prepared springform. Smooth out the top, if necessary.

Bake for 1 hour in the middle of the oven, then turn off the heat and allow the cake to *cool for 30 minutes in the oven. Hopefully this will help keep any cracks on the surface to a minimum. Refrigerate the cake for at least an hour or two before serving.

*I use a small counter-top convection oven which cools off faster. If you are using a large conventional oven then pry open the door just a tiny bit with the handle of a wooden spoon.

Serve with whipped cream and berries.


Laura said...

I love cheesecake and this one just sounds (and looks) absolutely delicious! A must-try, certainly considering the fact it's lighter than an American cheesecake.

Thanks for sharing!

Sue/the view from great island said...

I don't know if my comment went through, so I'll try again...This is gorgeous! I'm amazed at the beautiful pale yellow color, it's stunning even before you put the toppings on. I will definitely make it this spring.

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Laura, I often don't care for extra steps like beating egg whites to fold in later, but in this case it's worth it!

Sue, thanks! I think most of that colour came from my egg yolks, they usually look almost orange to me.

Mary Bergfeld said...

What a lovely cake. It has such gorgeous color. This is my first visit to your blog, so I took some time to browse through your earlier posts. I'm so glad I did that. I really like the food and recipes you share with your readers and I'll definitely be back. I hope you have a great weekend. Blessings...Mary

Torviewtoronto said...

colourful looks fabulous

Sara said...

This looks wonderful! Love that it only uses one package of cream cheese and has a lighter texture - sounds really delicious! The perfect treat to make with lemons from my lemon tree. :)

smbp said...

So PRETTY- the yellow is so vibrant and inviting; so inviting I would be tempted to eat the entire cheesecake if I was left alone with it!

Moni said...

I love cheesecake. Your looks so delicious. And with these wonderful fruits on top .. The pictures are gorgeous.

Sue said...

I've had Japanese cheesecake before and loved it. I didn't realize they were so easy to make. This is definitely going on my "to make" list.

Unknown said...

Currently in the oven, just the raw batter was amazing! I plan on taking it to a fishing session (to heck with convenience it just looks so delicious!) and serving it with fresh strawberries and cherries. Thanks for such a nice treat!

stefani said...

hi! you said you used half the amount of cream cheese only, so meaning 4oz?

Gerlinde in Washington said...

No, I used the entire 8oz for this recipe; which is half of what I usually use (16oz) to make a cheesecake this size.


Unknown said...

I love it. I must try it soon! thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

I did it today & It´s AWESOME! Thanks again :)

Unknown said...

Here's the link to the your recipe that I made, & of course I mentioned the link to your original recipe:

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Ola, I loved the shape yours had from the loaf pan. I may give that a try the next time I make this!

Unknown said...

Hi Gerlinde....I just found your blog through Ola's posting of your lovely cheesecake! I live in Australia and am so happy about this recipe as it doesn't use 'Quark' - a main ingredient in many German and Austrian Recipes but soo hard to find here in the land of OZ...Do you speak German? I have a sister called Gerlinde;)
Can't wait to try the recipe!! xox

Gerlinde in Washington said...

Hi, Birgit

I understand German perfectly well, however my ability to speak it has declined a great deal over the past three decades or so.. I don't have much opportunity to use it. My aunt tells me if I were to immerse myself, I would be speaking it fluently again in less than 3 months.

I hope you enjoy the cheesecake!

Carole said...

Gerlinde, lovely. Thanks for linking in.

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