Baked cheesecakes always win the vote in the family. I tend to think the texture is more interesting than a chilled cheesecake and in my opinion, tastier too. You know me--I think any good food has to have two of three things to be successful:
I believe any dish or dessert or edible can get away with only two of these three, and be a winner. Avocado for instance, looks divine and has a wonderful buttery, smooth texture, but doesn't really have much of a taste. All the better if something looks amazing, tastes amazing and has great texture. Like a baked cheesecake.
So I took the plunge and made my first ever cheesecake, a baked lemon delight in a fluted pie dish. It was super rich, with the ultimate creamy texture, the perfect amount of citrus to make it zingy without being overpowering and the appearance wasn't too bad either...though next time I will decorate it a little to jazz it up. Blueberries in the centre with some zest tendrils would have looked divine, with a sprig of mint to top it off.
I have one more thing to add. I found this recipe on Taste.com.au, a great source of recipes. Below the recipe was a comment from a woman who had baked this cheesecake every week for six months, for her husband. Every week she asks him, if it was time for a change of dessert...the husband looks back at her in sheer protestation! WHAT IS SHE THINKING!!! I think this little tale goes to show that you should definitely give this recipe a go, its sure to become a favourite! (I refuse to make it every week for my husband though--we may need a crane after six months for the both of us!)
BAKED LEMON CHEESECAKE
250g plain sweet biscuits (I used Buttersnaps)
150g butter, melted
500g cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup caster sugar
1 tbsp. lemon zest, finely grated
1/4 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed
Icing sugar and cream to serve
Preheat oven to 160C/140C for fanforced.
Grease a 6cm deep, 20cm round springform pan or dish. Process the biscuits until they resemble very fine crumbs. Add the melted butter and combine well. Press this mixture over the base and up the sides of the prepared tin. Place in the fridge to set. for 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, beat cream cheese, sugar and zest together until smooth. Add the eggs one by one, beating well after each addition. Add the lemon juice and beat for one minute. Smooth the mixture into the prepared pan. Bake for 50 minutes or until the mixture has just set. The centre may still be wobbly but will firm on standing. Turn the oven off and keep the door ajar until cooled. Refrigerate cheesecake for 4 hours or more, dust with icing sugar and serve with cream, if desired.
NOTES: a tip for cutting baked cheesecakes: wet the knife under hot water before plunging into the cake to avoid a messy cut.