“Summer Citrus” is a term I learned from one of my teachers at Johnson & Wales, Christina Harvey. She was great and Summer Citrus has always been in the back of my mind ever since. It’s a simple addition of the zest of: Lemons, Oranges, and Limes. It can be used in both sweet and savory types of cooking/baking.
Summer Citrus Cheesecake
For the Cheesecake:
1 pound cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1/2 cup sugar
Summer citrus zest (the zest of an orange, a lemon and a lime)
For the crust
1 – 8.8 oz package of Biscoff cookies
6 tablespoons butter
Making cheesecake really is very easy. I always like to start with the crust.
Take the Biscoff cookies and pulse them into fine crumbs in a food processor.
Melt the butter and add it to the crumbs
Press the crumb mix into a 10” springform pan. Use a flat bottomed glass to help you evenly create a crust. Set aside
*Note about springforms. Not all springforms are created equally, and I really like the ones with a glass bottom. For two reasons: 1 – so easy to serve from. 2 (most important part) the metal springform pans have a metal bottom with a slight ridge around the bottom to accomodate the outside ring of the pan. Which is great, until you go to serve it and have about a 1/4” lip of a pan that is at an awkward candle to cut your slice from. The glass bottomed springform pans have a completely flat bottom. No ridge, no problems serving. Trust me they are worth it.
For the Cheesecake: The cream cheese needs to be softened with either a hand mixer or in a stand mixer. Whip it up a bit until all the lumps have disappeared. Make sure you scrape down the bowl to make sure to get all the lumps out.
Add the sugar to the softened cream cheese. The sugar will also help to get rid of any persistent lumps in the cream cheese. Scrape down the bowl a few times to make sure the batter is evenly mixed and doesn’t have any lumps
Add the sour cream, a teaspoon or so of vanilla and the summer citrus and mix after the addition of each ingredient.
Pour everything right into the springform pan with the pressed in crust.
Cheesecakes need a humid environment in order to cook evenly in the oven. Some people like to submerge their springform pans right into a water bath in the oven. Personally, I have not had much success with this method – and I’ve tried all the different tricks. For me, I like to fill a pan with water and place it on the rack in the oven directly underneath the rack with the cheesecake on it. As the oven heats the water, steam is created and a humid environment is achieved without any risk of a soggy crust.
Depending on how much of a hurry I am in, really decides what temperature I’m going to cook my cheesecake at. Today we’re going to cook at 300º for about an hour and 5 to 10 minutes.
As you are putting the cheesecake in the oven, give it a little jiggle and notice how the liquid cheesecake filling is still quite thick but moves pretty freely. When the cheesecake is done you can also test for doneness by giving the cake a little jiggle to make sure the eggs have coagulated and set right in the very middle of the cheesecake too. The cheesecake should kind of bounce right back into place in a way very similar to jello. You may also notice that the surface of the cheesecake appears to have very slightly puffed. This is also a good sign, and the cheesecake will settle right down when it cools
Let the cheesecake cool for at least four hours, or even better make it the day before and leave it in the fridge overnight.
I like to serve it with a little whipped cream.
On to Madeleines! I am still mad about them and wanted to utilize my summer citrus for them too.
I felt like simply putting the citrus into the batter of the Madeleines wouldn’t really show off the color of the zest. No, a glaze would be better, a simple powdered sugar glaze enhanced with summer citrus.
For the glaze:
1/2 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons water
Summer citrus – to taste
Mix the powdered sugar and slowly add the water to get the glazing consistency. (You might not need all the water)
Dip some freshly baked Madeleines in and let dry.
It’s that easy!