If you are looking for a date-night dessert...look no further! My lovely lemon cheesecake is the perfect dessert for 2.
I was so excited when I received a set of three 4-inch springform pans! For a person who adores making cheesecakes, but only has a family of 2 to feed...there's always way too much left over. Sometimes you just want enough...but not too much. I made these 3 and gave 2 away to friends with significant others as a treat for Valentine's Day this year and they were a hit! If you aren't lucky enough to own 4 inch springform pans...don't worry. You can use a pre made graham pie shell or a pie pan and the same graham amount in this recipe. No changes needed.
I used raspberry jam, homemade whipped cream and sprinkles to decorate in the pictures. You can use any flavour of jam you prefer, fresh berries or a coulis. All of these pair well with lemon. And sprinkles...you can change the occasion of any cheesecake with sprinkles. Think red and green for Christmas, hearts for date night, multi coloured for birthdays...endless possibilities! :)
Water baths are optional here. I don't use them when I am topping the cheesecakes. (Meaning whether they happen to crack or not is not an issue). And since the cakes are smaller, they don't cook as long, so I found they cooked evenly without browning too much.
Make your crust first, if not using a pre-made version. And bake it for a few minutes so it can set up and hold together. While the crusts are in the oven, cream the room temperature cream cheese with a paddle in the stand mixer. Room temp for your ingredients ensures it with be lump-free and the eggs will incorporate well.
I always zest my lemons right over the top of white sugar using a microplane. This allows the oils from the zest to land right in the sugar and offers up extra flavour. Then I press the zest into the sugar with a wooden spoon capturing even more flavour! The more lemon - the better!
So into that cream cheese goes the zested lemon sugar, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat that together. Then add the eggs one at a time. Don't over mix. Top up the pans almost to the top and pop them in the oven. Mine took 30 to 40 minutes to bake. Try not to open the oven for at least 30 minutes. Cool completely and decorate as desired!
Hope you enjoy! Leave a comment below if you try this recipe...I would love to hear from you!
Lovely Lemon Cheesecake for 2
2 bricks softened cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
zest from 1 lemon
1 1/2 tbsps lemon juice
1/2 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups graham crumbs
1 tbsp sugar
4 tbsps melted butter
Preheat oven to 350°F
Prepare three 4-inch springform pans with parchment paper*
In a bowl stir together graham crumbs, 1 tbsp sugar and melted butter
Press graham mixture into pan**
Pop in the oven for 10 mins (optional step...it will set up the grahams a bit more if you find them crumbly)
Cream the softened cream cheese with a paddle in a stand mixer
Add zest to sugar and press the oils into the sugar. Add zested sugar to cream cheese mixture along with the lemon juice and vanilla
Add eggs one at a time and only mix until just combined***
Pour into pans. You can pour almost to the top.
Place in oven and bake for around 30 to 40 minutes. Resist opening oven until close to the end
Cool in pans then pop in the fridge for a few hours****
I decorated with whipped cream, raspberry jam, and hearts sprinkles.
*I used 4 inch pans and made three 2-person cheesecakes out of this recipe. It also works to use one ready-made graham crust pie shell. Same directions and ingredients
**I pressed my graham base into the bottom and up the sides using a cup. You can simply press it into the bottom and not up the sides if you prefer
***Add eggs last and do not over whip. It can cause the cheesecake to rise and collapse and/or crack.
**** When you remove the cakes from the oven (if using springform pans) run a knife around the inside of the pan to loosen. This improves the likelihood that as they settle they won't crack. Don't worry if they are cracked though because as they sit in the fridge...they tend to come back together. Besides...you are decorating with jam or berries and whipped cream so the top won't be seen:)