Sunday, May 29, 2011

Lemon Cardamom Cheesecake with Lemon Sauce

This cheesecake appears only when we have company. Susan says this is because it is too dangerous to have a whole, delectable cheesecake around for everyday consumption. I am not sure what the big deal is... I am happy to help out.

Cardamom is a very underused spice here in middle America. It is common in Indian cooking but probably first made it to Minnesota in the breads of Nordic bakers. Cardamom is a member of the ginger family and very aromatic. Lemon and cardamom are a match made in heaven.

Susan couldn't find a good recipe for Lemon Cardamom Cheesecake so she adapted a plain lemon cheesecake recipe from Theresa Millang's I Love Cheesecake cookbook. Cheesecake is very easy to make. I think I could make this if my family was more open-minded about canine cooks.

Lemon Cardamom Cheesecake with Lemon Sauce

CRUST
1 1/4 cup graham crackers, crushed
2 tablespoons white sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

FILLING
2 1/2 eight ounce packages cream cheese, softened (you can substitute up to 1/2 neufchatel, for less fat)
1 cup white sugar (scant, if you like it a little less sweet)
3 eggs
1/2 to 1 teaspoon ground cardamom (depending on how much you love cardamom)
1-2 teaspoons grated fresh lemon peel
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

SAUCE
1/3 cup white sugar
1 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (1 to 1 1/2 lemons)
1 egg yolk beaten
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon butter

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

Mix CRUST ingredients together in a bowl. Press into bottom of 9" springform pan. Bake 5 minutes.

Reduce oven to 300 degrees.

In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until fluffy. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in remaining FILLING ingredients until just blended. Pour mixture into crust. Bake about an hour or until center is set. (Baking time really varies by oven). Cool to room temperature, then chill in fridge.

For the SAUCE: In small saucepan, mix together sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water until smooth. Add lemon and egg yolk. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thickened and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in vanilla and butter.

Pour warm sauce over each cheesecake piece.

Refrigerate leftovers right away.

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