This delicious baked lemon cheesecake is the perfect dessert for the upcoming Bank Holiday weekend(s).
I’ve been working on this for a while, trying to create a mix between a cheesecake and a tart and I’ve finally made something I’m happy with. Pastry isn’t my favourite thing to make so I’ve been pushing myself lately to try and get on with it; and the more I make it and the better I get it at the more I actually enjoy it.
Two things I really like about this cheesecake: apart from the pastry it is surprisingly low maintenance, and, lemon and raspberry are pretty close to the top of my favourite flavour pairing list.
Baked Lemon Cheesecake
Sweet Shortcrust Pastry
- 215 g wholemeal self-raising flour
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 150 g unsalted butter chilled and cubed
- 3 medium free-range egg yolks
- 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
Creamy Lemon Filling
- 200 g cream cheese
- 200 g mascarpone cheese
- 50 g double cream
- 100 g granulated sugar
- 2 lemons zest and juice
- 2 tsp vanilla bean paste
- 3 medium free-range eggs
- 200 g double cream
- 50 g icing sugar
- 1 tbsp vanilla bean paste
- fresh raspberries
- freeze dried raspberries
To make the pastry
- Sift the flour, sugar and salt together into a large bowl. Add in the cubed butter and work it in with your hands until you create a crumb resembling coarse breadcrumbs. Make a well in the mixture.
- When making the pastry it's important not to handle the butter too much. The more you handle it the quicker it will melt and you'll end up with clumps of mixture. If this starts to happen, pop the bowl in the fridge for five minutes.
- Separate your egg yolks (reserving the whites for meringues) and place into a small bowl with the lemon juice. Pierce the yolks with a fork and beat the eggs with the lemon juice.
- Pour the egg mix into the dry ingredients and use a fork to bring everything into a loose dough before using your hands to gently knead the mixture into a soft dough. Shape the dough into a disc, wrap into cling film and pop into the fridge for approximately 30 minutes.
- Pre-heat your oven to 170 degrees.
- Once your pastry is chilled, turn out onto a lightly floured surface and roll out to the thickness of a pound coin. Use the rolling pin to lift the pastry into a 9-inch scalloped tart tin. Press the pastry in to the ridges and trim off most of the excess. Leave some overhang as the pastry will shrink during cooking and I think it looks better when it's trimmed after. Prick the base of the pastry with a fork and cook for 10-12 minutes until the pastry case is starting to go lightly golden.
To make the lemon filling
- Add the cream cheese, mascarpone and double cream to the bowl of a stand mixer and beat slowly to combine. Scrap down the sides of your bowl to make sure the cream is evenly mixed.
- Add the sugar, lemon juice and zest and vanilla into the cream mix and beat until smooth and well combined. Add in the eggs one at a time, mixing well between each addition. Once the eggs are all incorporated, beat one final time before pouring into your cooled pastry shell.
- Cook the cheesecake, again at 170 degrees, for 45 minutes until the centre of the cheesecake is set and the whole thing is lightly golden. Leave to cool completely.
- Place the cream, icing sugar and vanilla into the bowl of a stand mixer and beat until thick and smooth. Spoon into a piping bag and pipe around the edges of the cheesecake.
- Decorate with dried lemon slices, fresh raspberries and freeze dried raspberries.
If I want to use dried lemon slices to decorate a cake or cheesecake, I always make them first. They’re really simple and can look super effective.
Your butter should be well chilled and cut into small cubes for ease.
I always use fresh lemon juice – flavouring or the artificial ‘juice’ in a bottle just won’t cut it!
I hate handling raw eggs so I tip the yolk between the two halves of the shell for as long as possible to separate the yolk!
Once you’ve separated the yolk, gently remove from the shell and carefully add to the bowl.
This is the texture you’re looking for with your pastry, if not finer.
The yolks and lemon juice should go into a well in the dry mix before being brought together with a fork.
Once you have a rough dough, use your hands to bring it together into a smooth disc.
Before tightly wrapping in clingfilm and popping into the fridge to chill.
When the pastry is chilled, roll it out to be wide and as thick as a £1 coin.
Leave a healthy amount of overhang for the first bake. The pastry will shrink anyway.
This is the colour you’re looking for: lightly golden. Ignore the sides – we’ll trim them once the cheesecake is baked but look at how much they’ve shrunk back already.
You want to make sure the cream and the cream cheeses are perfectly smooth before adding the lemon juice, zest and sugar.
And then add your eggs one by one, mixing well after each addition.
In goes the filling! It’s quite a lot, don’t panic! It should fill the case perfectly.
Just look at that *heart eye emoji*
Once the cheesecake is completely cool you can decorate however you choose.
I like to use fresh raspberries, dried lemon slices and thick vanilla cream.
The crust isn’t entirely straight but that all adds to the homemade look…
Keep the cheesecake in the fridge, bringing to room temperature before serving. It will keep for 3 days in the fridge but is best eaten on the day its made.