After a long, cold and brutal winter who here is thrilled that Spring has finally arrived? Mother nature has played little tricks with us with beautiful days tucked between cold and wind but I’m hoping I can finally shed my boots, gloves, parka and thick scarf for pretty dresses and sun hats.
Instead of hibernating inside, I want to take long walks to the farmer’s market and dine outdoors. Gone are those heavy winter stick to your bones meals. Let’s eat lighter and bring out bright flavors.
To me a bright flavor equals lemon and lemon somehow translates to spring entrees and desserts. I do find it ironic that lemon is so prominently found in spring desserts even though it’s prime season is winter.
Perhaps it appears so frequently because it’s a chance to use up the last of the really good fruit before it disappears. Lemons are bred to grow year round but their cousin the Meyer lemon can still only be found through about the end of April.
When I see a Meyer lemon, I need to make a cheesecake. After that I need to make lemon curd. Sure there are a host of other Meyer lemon related treats that I love but those two are my favorite. This time around I put them together with some help from Dixie Crystals Sugar. I love using Dixie Crystals because their sugar is all natural pure cane.
Right, our cheesecake. What I love about cheesecake bars vs. traditional cheesecake is that it is much less finicky. There is no need to set up a water bath to bake the cake in and if the cheesecake does crack; it’s okay because the top will be smothered with homemade lemon curd.
I think this would be wonderful to serve at Easter and if you skip the crust this easily translates to a Passover dessert.
- 2 cups crushed shortbread or sugar cookies
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 3 8oz blocks cream cheese, room temperature
- ¾ cup pure cane sugar
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- zest from 2 Meyer lemons
- ¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- Meyer lemon curd (recipe to follow)
- Heat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease an 8X8 baking dish and line with parchment paper.
- Mix together the crushed cookies and butter until it resembles wet sand.
- Press the cookie crust into the bottom of the baking dish, using the bottom of the glass to press firmly into place.
- Chill for 15 minutes in the refrigerator and then bake for 10 minutes. Let cool slightly.
- Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- In the bowl of your stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or using a hand mixer cream the cream cheese, sugar, salt and meyer lemon zest until light and airy about 2-3 minutes.
- Scrap down the sides and mix in the sour cream. Mix in the eggs, one at a time on medium speed.
- Continue to mix until there are no lumps remaining in the batter. Scrape down the sides and bottom of mixing bowl and pour the batter into the cooled pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake is just set. You want it to jiggle slightly. Let the cheesecake cool completely in the oven with it propped open slightly with a wooden spoon.
- Refrigerate for at least 4 hours or over night before carefully removing from the pan.
- If you want the edges to look clean cut, using a sharp knife cut the brown parts away. Cleaning the knife with a paper towel after each cut.
- Then cut the cheesecake into 9 bars.
- Top each cheesecake bar with about 1 tablespoon of lemon curd. Smooth to the edges using a small offset spatula or butter knife.
- Keep in the refrigerator in an airtight container prior to serving.
- ½ cup Meyer lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
- ½ cup pure cane sugar
- 3 large egg yolks, beaten
- 4 tablespoons European style unsalted butter, cold and cut into ½ inch cubes
- In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix together the Meyer lemon juice, zest, sugar and egg yolks.
- Continue to whisk over medium heat for about 3-5 minutes or until the mixture starts to thicken up and the sugar is dissolved.
- With one piece of butter at a time, add it to the pan and whisk until it is completely melted. Continue to add butter to the curd, constantly stirring.
- About halfway through adding the butter the curd will become nice and thick.
- Once all the butter as been whisked in remove from the heat and let cool completely before storing in an airtight container.
Do you want to get into the baking fun too with Dixie Crystals? Do you love brownies? Are you a food blogger? Well I have a great opportunity for you! For the second year in a row, Dixie Crystals is sponsoring a brownie dessert contest where the lucky winner will win 1 ticket to the Food and Wine Conference in Orlando, FL, have their dessert be featured and a $500 gift card! All the information is right here! Get your brownie thinking caps on!
Let’s also take a look and see what the rest of the #SundaySupper contributors baked up this week!
- Blueberry Buckle Coffee Cake by Neighborfood
- Butterscotch Chocolate Caramel Cookie Cups by The Messy Baker
- Chewy Lemon Sugar Cookies by Alida’s Kitchen
- Coconut Lime Meltaway Cookie Bars by Chocolate Moosey
- Flan in Moscato Wine Sauce by Family Foodie
- Fresh Strawberry Tartlets by That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Gluten-Free Deep Dish Carrot Cakes for Two by Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Hazelnut Chocolate Chip Bundt by In The Kitchen With KP
- Lemon Cornmeal Sandwich Cookies by girlichef
- Lemon Roulade by Hezzi-D’s Books and Cooks
- Lime Sugar Cookies by Magnolia Days
- Meyer Lemon Bars with Poppyseed Crust by Foxes Love Lemons
- Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Bars by The Girl In The Little Red Kitchen
- Mixed Berry Crumble by The Dinner-Mom
- No-Bake Banana Split Dessert Cups by The Weekend Gourmet
- Poached Pear Bread by Momma’s Meals
- Springtime French Macarons by Hip Foodie Mom
- Strawberry Cheesecake Bites by Supper For A Steal
- Strawberry Lemonade Cupcakes by The Foodie Army Wife
- Strawberry Rhubarb Upside Down Cake by Cindy’s Recipes and Writings
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