Blending cheesecake and lemon is perfection for me. How could anything be any better? Mini size is good for portion control and so I didn't eat so much. (SURE!) It was a good thought but I really don't think that will keep me from eating too many. But the mini size is perfect for a family gathering or party.
My inspiration for these yummy morsels was my mom's mini cheesecakes with vanilla wafers as the crust. She mixed up a creamy cheesecake mixture and placed them in a mini cupcake tins to bake. They were delicious bites topped with sour cream and a maraschino cherry. These have the same creaminess with the hint of lemon in the cheesecake and the luscious lemon curd on top. So great for family gatherings or parties. They look like you spent lots of time but it is really so easy.
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 4 tbsp melted butter
- 16 oz cream cheese, room temperature
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1 tsp lemon zest
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/3 cup lemon juice
- 4 tbsp butter
- 2 tsp lemon zest
Line a 12-cup muffin tin with cupcake liners and preheat the oven to 300 degrees F.
In a small bowl mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. (Photo A) Place a heaping tablespoon of crumb mixture into the cupcake liners. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the liners. (Photo B) Set aside.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until creamy. (Photo C) Keep the mixer on low speed. Add the sugar and salt and mix till incorporated. (Photo D) Add the eggs one at a time and scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the vanilla, zest and sour cream and mix till combined. Pour the cream cheese mixture on top of the crust (Photo E) and bake for 20 - 22 minutes. (Photo F) The center will not be completely set. Cool completely on a wire rack and refrigerate for at least two hours.
Juice 2 or 3 lemons to produce 1/3 cup lemon juice. (Photo G) Don't use the bottled juice. Fresh is always the best and the taste is far superior. Place the sugar, eggs and lemon juice in a stainless steel bowl. (Photo H) Place the bowl over a simmering pan of water and stir constantly until the mixture thickens like sour cream (160 degrees). (Photo I) Remember to keep stirring or you could end up with scrambled eggs in your lemon curd. This should take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and pour the lemon mixture through a strainer to remove any lumps. (Photo J) Don't skip this step. It may appear there are no lumps but there are tiny bits of egg whites. Immediately after whisk in the butter until it is melted. (Photo K) Mix in the lemon zest. Place plastic wrap directly on the lemon curd to prevent a skin from forming. (Photo L) Let it cool completely and then place in the refrigerator.
To assemble the cheesecakes, carefully remove from the muffin tin and remove the paper liners. (Photo M) Add a heaping tablespoon of the curd on top of each cheesecake and top with berries. (Photo N) Store in the refrigerator.