I’ve tasked The Swede with devising challenges for me to complete each week. Much of it has to do with my lack of initiative and motivation, but that’s another post for another day.
The first week of challenges, he gave me a writing-based challenge and, for purely selfish reasons, a food challenge.
“Make a cheesecake,” he said. “And then write a blog post about it.”
I pondered. I debated saying no. I’d never made a cheesecake before, and it seemed quite tricky. Plus, I don’t own a springform pan, which in all the cheesecake recipes I’ve encountered, seems to be an essential piece of equipment in the making of said cheesecake.
But I do love cheesecake.
And I do love a challenge.
And The Swede’s alright too, so I accepted the cheesecake challenge, and then waited until just about the last minute (all challenges are to be done within a week’s time, those are the rules and I am nothing if not a fan of rules. RULES RULE! What? Never mind.) to actually, you know, make the cheesecake.
I scoured my cookery books and the interwebs for a recipe, before settling on one that met my own internal criteria for a virgin cheesecake-making mission (it must be easy, and it must not require a springform pan. The end.). And of course I found luck in the greatest cookbook ever, which is devoted to all things cream cheese, the Philadelphia Cream Cheese Collection. Their luscious lemon cheesecake seemed perfect for the summergoodtimes that had cropped up. And by cropped up I mean it’s gotten very hot in these parts.
Oh right, the recipe.
Seriously, Interwebers, this recipe couldn’t be easier.
Just throw these ingredients together:
Oh, and sugar. Sugar is not pictured in this photo, because sugar was off doing her makeup. Or because I forgot to pull her out of the cabinet.
But no worries, she made it into the bowl!
Also: who knew sugar was female?
Whip the ingredients together until it’s all smooth and lovely, and pour it into the pie crust.
And then bake it.
As I mentioned before, I’ve never made a cheesecake, and the direction, “bake until the center is almost set” seemed vague at best. Also, NO ONE MENTIONED THAT THE CHEESECAKE WOULD PUFF UP LIKE THE PILLSBURY DOUGH BOY.
But I went with my instincts, and took into account the crackled top of the cheesecake to make the executive decision that it was, indeed, fully cooked. And made sad faces at the pie when it was so high above the crust, because that is NOT what it looked like in the picture.
My sad faces were for naught, though. I left the house a little later for dinner with a friend, only to return in a few hours to find a deflated, and very lovely looking cheesecake.
I’d show it to you, but The Swede ate it too fast for me to snap a photo of it.
Which means this challenge?
Here’s the recipe, complete with directions. It’s so easy, I’m pretty sure a toddler could make it.
Luscious Lemon Cheesecake
2 pkg. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 tsp. grated lemon zest
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. vanilla
1 graham pie crust (6 oz.)
PREHEAT oven to 350°F. Beat cream cheese, sugar, peel, juice and vanilla with electric mixer on medium speed until well blended. Add eggs; mix just until blended.
POUR into crust.
BAKE 40 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool. Refrigerate at least 3 hours or overnight. Store leftover cheesecake in refrigerator.