Lemon Cheesecake with Strawberry topping

Nothing tastes better on a hot summer evening than cold, frozen cheesecake straight from the refrigerator. Now I have always wanted to make cheesecake, even fantasized about it many times. But for some reason I always thought of it as a tedious and messy process hence I never got around to it. As we’ve been approaching the end of Ramadan I’ve started thinking about goodies to make for Eid and that’s when I came across this great recipe. After skimming through the recipe I realized that I have, over the past few years baked more difficult dishes than this, hence making this cheesecake should be a snap. So I went ahead and tried it out, and even added a strawberry topping for which I made up a last minute recipe. The cake turned out better than I expected. However I couldn’t find any trace of the lemon zest and juice, and so just leave that part out if you like. The topping tasted great, would have tasted even better with real strawberries pureed and cooked into a jam over low heat but since the whole idea of this recipe is to be easy, I say go for strawberry jam straight from the jar. It works just as well. Overall, this is quick and easy to make and the only thing it requires is a lot of freezing time. Try it out!

For the crust:
20 digestive biscuits
2 tbsp sugar
4 tbsp butter

For the filling:
450 g cream cheese
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
finely grated juice and zest of one lemon

For the topping:
1/2 cup strawberry jam
2 tbsp lemon juice

1. Make the crust: Place digestive biscuits and sugar in a food processor or grinder until finely ground, in batches if required. Rub butter into the mixture until it resembles coarse crumbles.
2. Preheat the oven to 160 C. Use aluminium foil to line the bottom and sides of a round springform cake pan or an 8 inch square baking pan. Make sure to use enough foil to leave some hanging from the sides.
3. Transfer the crumb mixture into the pan and press gently to make the base. Press some mixture around the sides as well. Bake this in the oven for about 10 minutes until golden brown.
4. Make the filling: Use a mixer to blend cream cheese with the sugar. Add the eggs and continue beating until smooth and then add lemon zest and juice. Pour the filling into the hot crust and put back into the oven. Bake for 30-35 minutes until the filling is set.
5. Make the topping: In a saucepan over low heat, stir strawberry jam and lemon juice until blended and the sauce is flowing freely. Allow the cheesecake to cool and then pour the sauce on top.
6. Cover the cake with loose plastic wrap and chill until firm for about 2 hours. Alternatively you can leave it in the fridge for upto 2 days. Use the aluminium foil to lift the cake out of the pan. Cut and serve chilled.


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