Monday, March 1, 2010
I spent my weekend trying to come up with ideas for the 10lbs of mascarpone that is sitting in my fridge. For some reason I cannot resist impulse buying large tubs of the stuff. You know how they say, never grocery shop while hungry? Well that is even more true when you blog about food, you can justify just about any purchase in the moment.
So yea, I need to find a way to deal with all this cheese.
Tiramisu was an obvious choice but I make it from scratch (which is a ridiculous amount of work) and then I would unceremoniously eat the whole thing.
In one sitting.
I really don't want Mr. Humble to come home and find me laying on the floor groaning and coated with coffee soaked crumbs, so I needed to come up with other ideas.
I could do more macarons and fill them with flavored mascarpone but I get the feeling that after the macaronathon that was last week on this blog, I would be pushing my luck.
I briefly toyed with the idea of a mascarpone cheesecake, as that would use a great deal of the surplus cheese. However, I really don't adore the texture of mascarpone cheesecakes. Still, cheesecake was sounding good and I did have a lot of cream cheese that needed a purpose as well (don't ask how much). So I decided that I could work mascarpone into a cheesecake in the form of a topping. Mascarpone is after all, wonderful mixed with fruit and of course, my favorite, lemon curd!
Yes, another lemon dessert! Expect many more. I like them. The 'Not So Humble Pie' is after all, a lemon meringue pie.
So the cheesecake I dreamed up yesterday, involves satisfyingly thick shortbread crust, creamy vanilla cheesecake topped with a thin layer of mascarpone then another layer of lemon mascarpone cream.
If you want to kick the lemon 'up a notch' feel free to add a little lemon zest to both the shortbread and the cheesecake batter.
Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake Shortbread Crust:
1 cup all purpose flour
1/3 cup powdered sugar
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/4 teaspoon salt
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into pieces
1 teaspoon fine lemon zest (optional)
Line a 10" springform pan with a circle of parchment paper and set aside.
In a food processor, combine the starch, flour, sugar, salt and butter and pulse until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Pulse in the zest, if using and then pour into you prepared pan.
Press the crumbs into an even layer at the bottom of the pan to form the crust. Place in the freezer and then preheat your oven to 350°F with a rack in the lower third of the oven.
When the oven is hot pull the crust out of the freezer and bake for 15 minutes. Allow to cool on a wire rack.
Not So Humble Cheesecake
32 ounces cream cheese (at room temperature)
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
1/2 cup sour cream (at room temperature
4 large eggs (at room temperature)
Preheat your oven to 350°F with a rack set in the lower third of your oven.
In your stand mixer using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese for roughly 4 minutes on medium speed until smooth. Slowly pour the sugar into the cream cheese scraping down the sides of the bowl well. Add the vanilla and sour cream. Sift the flour into the mixture. Reduce your mixer's speed to low and add the eggs one at a time, mixing until each one is just incorporated taking care not to over beat the mixture.
Pour the mixture into the pan with the crust. Set the pan on two large sheets of aluminum foil and smooth them up the sides of the pan, making it water tight. Set the cake into a deep roasting pan and place in the oven. Carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan. About an inch of water works fine, but don't pour above the lowest edge of your foil.
Bake for approximately 60-70 minutes until cake is set but center is still slightly wobbly. Turn off the heat and allow to cool in the oven with the door ajar for roughly 20 minutes. Carefully remove the roasting pan from the oven and set the cheesecake onto a wire rack to cool. Once the cake is room temperature chill for at least 4 hours, ideally overnight.
When the cake has chilled, spread roughly 1/2 a cup of mascarpone over the top of the cheesecake. If the mascarpone is stiff/sticky, bring it to room temperature before spreading. Then top the cheesecake with the following:
Lemon Mascarpone Cream
1 cup lemon curd (store bought or homemade)
1/2 cup mascarpone
Mix together until smooth and free of any lumps and then pour onto the cheesecake. Smooth the surface with an offset spatula and it is ready to serve.