I (Andy) saw this cheesecake on Nigella’s website (http://www.nigella.com/recipes/view/nutella-cheesecake) and knew I had to make it. I have made a few changes to her recipe – I am not the biggest hazelnut fan (although I do like nutella) so I omitted the crushed hazelnuts, the choice is yours on whether you add these in or not.
These lemon bars are not for the faint of heart. If you like your lemon desserts in the form of a cheesecake or a gelato (or in some other creation that involves milk or creaminess to cut the zestiness of the lemon), this recipe is not for you. These bars have an unapologetic bite to them and I love them for it. Billed as the “Perfect Lemon Bar”, I am inclined to agree. The crust is a basic shortbread and the lemon curd filling is just lemon juice, sugar and eggs. They whip up quickly with an ideal crust to filling ratio. The filling itself has just the right sugar to lemon juice balance, that isn’t too sweet but still cuts the pucker of the lemons.
I will stop gushing now so you can get baking!
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1/3 cup sugar
1/4 tsp salt
1 tbsp lemon zest
1/2 cup butter, room temperature
Mix together ingredients in electric mixer until they form a crumbly mixture.
Press into a 9″x9″ paper lined baking pan, making sure that you press the mixture down firmly with either your spoon or your fingers. You want the crust packed really well, or else the curd will mingle with the crust while cooking and you will end up with a strange shortbread sandwich with curd in the middle.
Cook crust at 180 degrees C for 16-19 minutes. It is done when it is only very lightly browned on the edges.
While the crust is cooking make the filling:
4 large eggs
1 1/3 cups sugar
1 cup lemon juice, freshly squeezed and strained
Mix everything together in a large bowl and pour it over the hot crust. It makes a wonderful sizzling noise.
Cook for a further 20 minutes until the curd is set. To test this take the pan out of the oven and set it on a rack. Tap the sides very gently and see what happens. If there is a slight jiggle you are ok, but if it looks like there are waves or ripples in your curd, it isn’t quite done.
Cool the bars fully before slicing, then dust with icing sugar and serve them to your lemon loving friends. Or eat them all yourself. I won’t judge (and neither will Andy!)
Enjoy, Rosie 🙂
I like to think I have pretty good self control when it comes to eating. I try to follow the “everything in moderation” theory and usually have no problem resisting the treats in my pantry when I am making meals. Except when it comes to icecream (and crackers). I cannot have icecream in my house. It will get eaten, and not slowly over an extended period of time. I’ll have a spoonful for breakfast as my toast is toasting. As I’m cooking dinner, why not have a scoop?? And another for dessert. Within days a tub is gone and I am left vowing that next time I will ration my icecream and not be such a maniac. It never works.
Last Christmas when I saw an icecream maker for sale, I was powerless. It attaches to the mixer I already own! And I can make ANY flavour I want! Even the flavours I can’t get in New Zealand (like the glorious orange and licorice tiger stripe icecream)!
And then I found out the great David Lebovitz has an icecream cookbook. And I figured there is no point in having an icecream maker, without the perfect cookbook to go with it.
This recipe is my favourite that I have tried so far. And because it is a frozen yoghurt I can pretend it is healthy as I am sneaking spoonfuls while I’m waiting for my toast to toast tomorrow morning.
Coffee Frozen Yoghurt
(from David Lebovitz’s Perfect Scoop)
Makes 1 litre of Icecream
1 cup plain whole milk yoghurt (I used greek)
¾ cup sugar
Pinch of salt
¾ cup cream
1 cup brewed espresso, cooled to room temperature
¼ teaspoon ground dark roast coffee
Whisk everything together in a bowl . Chill for a minimum of 2 hours (I find overnight gives the strongest coffee flavour). Then churn it following your icecream maker’s instructions.