You'd think I liked cheesecake or something. Actually, I had a container of mascarpone that needed to be used, some extra lemon curd, and a love for my new mini cheesecake pan. Those three ingredients led to this tasty tidbit - a lighter than usual morsel with a refreshing lemon tang.
This will probably be my last cheesecake for a while - I've made other (boring, standard) cheesecakes that I haven't bothered to post here, and frankly, I'm cheesecaked out. I still have plans for that pan though; my birthday is coming up (ed: yea, in two months!) and I am plotting a big ole birthday feast. I have two companies and myself to feed, after all! If anyone has any suggestions or cravings, let me know in the comments and I'll add to my feeding extravaganza menu. I bet you can't wait (I know I can't!).
I used Trader Joe's lemon curd, but lemon curd is one of those recipes that's easy to make and gorgeous to taste.
Mini Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake (minorly adapted from Diana's Desserts)
* 2 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs
* 1/3 c sugar
* 8 tbsp butter, melted
* 1 c blanched almonds, coursely chopped
* 12 oz cream cheese
* 1/4 c plus 2 tbsp. granulated sugar
* 1 tbsp lemon zest*
* 1/3 c mascarpone Cheese**
* 5 tbsp heavy cream
* 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
* 2 tsp lemon juice*
* 2 large eggs, separated
Preheat the oven to 350F. Set mini cheesecake pan on a cookie sheet.
In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter, and almonds. Put a heaping spoonful in each cup and pat down with a shot glass.
In the bowl of an electric mixer with the paddle attachment, combine sugar, cream cheese and lemon zest. Mix until smooth. Add the mascarpone cheese and mix until just combined. Add cream, vanilla extract and lemon juice and mix until smooth. Stir in the yolks then transfer to a medium sized mixing bowl.
Wash and dry the electric mixing bowl. Using the whisk attachment, whip the egg whites until soft peaks form. Gently fold the egg whites into the cream cheese mixture. Add batter to each cup leaving about 1 cm from the top. Bake at 350 degrees F (180 C) for 20-25 minutes. Let cool, then dollop a teaspoon of lemon curd on top. Refrigerate until ready to eat.