Tuesday, June 18, 2013

It's a Happy Day...

....when you can make lemon curd successfully in the microwave! Thanks, King Arthur, for a gem of a recipe. This one is definitely a keeper... Oh, so delicious!

I have an 1100 watt microwave and my curd was done in under 6 minutes. I started with four 1-minute intervals, then took the curd's temperature --- was looking for between 185 and 190 degrees F, a safe temperature for eggs. I got 187 at five-and-a-half minutes. I did strain the curd through a fine mesh sieve, just to cover my tail feathers, and stashed it in the freezer to speed up the cooling. (This was destine to top mini lemon cheesecakes that I dreamed up --- my recipe take is below!)

Want to make mini cheesecakes? I did the other night but didn't really feel like digging up a recipe, so I wandered through my fridge.  {grin}

V's Mini Lemon Cheesecakes
Makes 12

1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs*
1/4 cup granulated sugar
3 tbsp. melted butter

2 (8 oz.) blocks cream cheese, softened
1 (5.3 oz.) cont. lemon Greek yogurt
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 large egg
2 tbsp. lemon juice or 1 tsp. lemon extract

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Line a 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners and spray with non-stick baking spray (aka Pam or Baker's Joy).

For the crust, toss together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter with a fork in a small bowl until combined. The crust should clump together and be slightly moist; if not, add up to 1 tbsp. more melted butter. Divide among prepared muffin wells - about a heaping tablespoon per cup. Tamp crumbs down using a small glass with a smooth base; I use a juice cup!

For the filling, whisk together softened cream cheese, Greek yogurt, and sugar till smooth. Add the egg and lemon juice; whisk till incorporated, but don't over-beat! Divide filling among wells and gently tap pan on counter to remove any air bubbles.

Bake cheesecakes in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes, or till centers are set. (They may wiggle a bit, but will firm upon standing. If you over-bake these, the tops will crack!) Remove from oven and let cool for 10 minutes in the pan. Remove from the pan to a baker's rack and cool completely. Transfer to a covered plate and chill in the refrigerator till serving time. Top with lemon curd, berry compote, or just eat plain straight from the fridge like my dear one does!

* I used a combination of half homemade graham crackers and half gluten free Schar Italian breadsticks that I pulsed in the food processor. I'm not GF and this is not a GF recipe, but I did have them on hand from a recipe I made earlier in the week that was gluten-free. I like that not-so-sweet factor of the crust and that you can get away with using less sugar if you feel like it.

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