Lemon cheesecake bars

Lemon cheesecake bars are mildly sweet and citrusy decadent dessert. Creamy light, and airy flavor packed dessert ideal for spring and summer season gatherings.

lemon cheesecake bars

This citrusy cheesecake can come together without much expertise and if you can follow basic baking instructions. The recipe is pretty forgiving and the cheese has has no flour or rising agents other than egg in case you did not notice.

Did you know the pie topping in this recipe has no egg yolks but has a secret ingredient in it which makes it completely vegetarian.

lemon cheese cake squares

Points to note to get perfect lemon cheesecake bars :

  1. Bring all the ingredients to room temperature before baking as the cream cheese will not be pliable otherwise. It will form lumps in the cheese cake batter and ruin the dessert. Cold eggs can make the batter look curdled but most times the cake will turn out fine once baked.
  2. Make sure ricotta cheese has no excess water content in it. To be on the safer side put it on a wire mesh sieve an hour before baking in room temp.
  3. If you are not using spring form pan but going for a glass or plain cake tin like me then leave excess parchment paper on the side of the dish. So once the cake is ready to be cut you can easily remove it from the container without ruining the cake.

Points to note while making the cheesecake: (EVERYTHING THAT CAN GO WRONG)

  1. Adding too much butter while making the base will result in a very hard base and it will not cut properly once chilled and destroy the shape of top layers. Been there done that.
  2. Do not over mix the batter and create air bubble or make it denser.
  3. Cracks on the cheesecake :
    1. Do not over cook the cheese cake, the egg proteins with create cracks in the cake. The jiggly center of the cake will set as it sits so don’t worry about it and over bake.
    2. Drastic temperature changes will cause cracks in the cheesecake. Opening the oven door frequently, refrigerating the cake before reaching room temperature.
  4. Cheese cake is like a custard and heavy on dairy and eggs so the waterbath (bane-marie) provides the cake a humid environment preventing the egg proteins from drying out.
lemon and ricotta cheese cake bars

This recipe is a loose extract from Ina Garten’s. She is my favorite host on Food Network for reasons you will never even imagine :). Though she is largely criticized for cooking with copious amounts of real butter and oil, I personally believe it is much better than any artificial substitute.
I mean.. I love recipes that use the real good stuff. Here is another recipe I tried from her book that has very subtle flavors but delicious and buttery Fennel and Garlic Shrimp

Lemon cheesecake bars

A mildy tart and sweet dessert
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Setting time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 1 hour 20 minutes
Servings 9 squares

INGREDIENTS :

For the pie crust:

  • 1 1/2 cup Graham cracker (1/2 pack approx)
  • 1/2 stick Butter

For the cheese filling :

  • 8 oz Cream cheese ( 1 pack) Full fat, plain
  • 15 oz Ricotta cheese (whole milk)
  • 10 tsp Granulated sugar
  • 1 Lemon – juiced
  • 1 lemon zest
  • 3 Eggs

For the lemon pie topping :

  • 4 tbsp Corn starch powder
  • 1/2 Lemon juiced
  • 2-3 tsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tsp Turmeric powder
  • 2 tbsp Butter

For decoration :

  • Thinnest neat cut lemon slices
  • Sugar flowers or Edible flowers
  • Mint leaves

INSTRUCTIONS :

For the pie crust :

  • Line a 8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Make sure to have extra paper on the sides to make it easier to remove the cake later.
  • Blitz the graham cracker to fine crumbs or alternatively smash with rolling pin
  • Melt the butter and mix it with the powdered cracker. Pat this down into the baking dish press and even out with a glass ramekin.
  • Bake 375 ° F for 8-9 minutes. Allow it to come room temperature.

For the cheese filling :

  • Either use a hand blender or stand mixer with paddle attachment beat the cream cheese until smooth on slow for a minute then add the ricotta cheese beat until it is combined.
  • Add the sugar, lemon juice and finally towards the end zest give it a good stir.
    Pour the mixture on to the prepared base.
  • Take a large baking dish pour 1 1/2 cup of hot water(I use hot tap water) and gently keep the cheese cake dish into it.This is called bain marie.
    Bake this for 50 -55 minutes. The center will be jiggly and the edges would be firm sometimes even slighly brown.
  • Once done remove the cake dish from the water cover loosely with lid so the center doesnot sink in. Allow this to come to room temp. Wipe off all the water vaper fallen on the cake then cover and refrigerate for atleast 4-6 hours or best overnight.

To make the lemon pie topping :

  • Mix all the ingredients (under topping ) adding 1 cup of cold tap water.
    (Note :Corn starch will not mix evenly in warm or hot water it will simply clump up)
  • Heat a pan on the lowest heat pour the mixture into it and continiously stir it without taking your hand off.
  • Allow the mixture to thicken and become creamy now add butter as soon as it melts switch off the heat and transfer to another container. Allow this to cool down.

Decorate the cake :

  • Lift the parchment paper out of the dish, cut the cheese cake into squares.
  • Spoon a little lemon pie topping on each square. Keep a lemon slice, sugar flower and mint leaves.

Video

NOTES :

While cutting the bars it can crumble so take a large cutting knife dip it in boiling hot water, wipe it dry and cut repeat for every cut for neat edges. The heat prevents the fat from sticking to the knife. 

Here is the step by step instructions with pics of the lemon cheesecake bars :

For the pie crust :

  • Line a 8 inch square baking dish with parchment paper. Make sure to have extra paper on the sides to make it easier to remove the cake later.
  • Blitz the graham cracker to fine crumbs or alternatively smash with rolling pin.
  • Melt the butter and mix it with the powdered cracker. Pat this down into the baking dish press and even out with a glass ramekin.
  • Bake 375 ° F for 8-9 minutes. Allow it to come room temperature.
lemon cheesecake bars step 1

For the cheese filling :

  • Either use a hand blender or stand mixer with paddle attachment beat the cream cheese until smooth on slow for a minute then add the ricotta cheese beat until it is combined.
  • Add the sugar, lemon juice and finally towards the end zest give it a good stir. Pour the mixture on to the prepared base.
  • Take a large baking dish pour 1 1/2 cup of hot water(I use hot tap water) and gently keep the cheese cake dish into it.This is called bain marie.
  • Bake this for 50 -55 minutes. The center will be jiggly and the edges would be firm sometimes even slighly brown.
  • Once done remove the cake dish from the water cover loosely with lid so the center doesnot sink in. Allow this to come to room temp. Wipe off all the water vaper fallen on the cake then cover and refrigerate for atleast 4-6 hours or best overnight.
lemon cheesecake bars step 2
lemon cheesecake bars step 3

To make the lemon pie topping :

  • Mix all the ingredients (under topping ) adding 1 cup of cold tap water.
  • (Note :Corn starch will not mix evenly in warm or hot water it will simply clump up)
  • Heat a pan on the lowest heat pour the mixture into it and continiously stir it without taking your hand off.
lemon cheesecake bars step 4

Decorate the cake :

  • Lift the parchment paper out of the dish, cut the cheese cake into squares.
  • Spoon a little lemon pie topping on each square. Keep a lemon slice, sugar flower and mint leaves on it.

ENJOY!

Lemon cheesecake bars, a must try recipe for this time of the year.

Meena

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