Triple Lemon Cheesecake

My hopes for spring were dashed this week when the Northeast was blasted with a chilly snowstorm.
Monday morning. April Fools? No less!

Well, a little chilly weather and white dust on the ground weren’t going to hinder our plans this week. We are hosting Lumen Christi: Easter Encounters with Art with art historian Msgr. Timothy Verdon and artist Gabriele Wilpers. This is a unique opportunity for artists and those who love art to celebrate the Resurrection of Christ. A festive dinner to welcome our guests was on the docket.

Our opening celebratory meal was a Cape Cod theme with clam chowder, coleslaw, fresh cod with salty and buttery crumbs, corn pudding, and vegetables. We featured a luscious triple lemon cheesecake for dessert. Doesn’t just the word lemon conjure up images for springtime? This was probably the best cheesecake I ever put in my mouth — delightfully creamy, and just enough of that citrusy tartness to whet your palate for another bite.

Read more about Lumen Christi here:

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Triple Lemon Cheesecake
SERVINGS
12people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
70minutes
PREP TIME
30 minutes
READY IN
100minutes

Ingredients

Instructions

Toppings:
  1. 1/2 cup lemon curd, heated over a double boiler until warm and easy to pour (I used Stonewall Kitchen Lemon curd)
Directions
  1. ​Position rack in the middle of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees F
  2. ​Butter the bottom and side of a 9" spring form pan. Have a ready roasting pan. Put on a kettle of water to boil for the water bath.
  3. Stir together crumbs, melted butter and sugar with a fork in a medium bowl until combined. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom of the pan (not up the sides). Bake 8-10 minutes or until crust is set; let cool. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  4. ​Process sugar and zest in a food processor until zest is finely ground.​
  5. In a medium bowl with an electric mixer, beat cream cheese beginning on low speed and​increasing to medium-high​speed, until light and fluffy. DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP; IT IS VERY IMPORTANT FOR A LUMP-FREE, FLUFFY CHEESECAKE.​
  6. Gradually add sugar mixture, scraping down the side of the bowl with a rubber spatula, continue beating until smooth.
  7. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Add sour cream, ricotta, salt and lemon juice; beat until well blended.
  8. Wrap the outside of the spring form pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil, then pour the filling into the pan; set it in the roasting pan. Place the roasting pan in the oven and carefully pour in enough boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up the side of the spring form pan.
  9. Bake for 70-75 minutes or until the center is almost firm and set. DO NOT OVER BAKE. The cheesecake will firm as it cools.
  10. Remove the roasting pan from the oven and water bath, turn off the oven. Return the cheesecake to the oven (keep door cracked slightly) to let rest for about 5 hrs. or until firmly set.
  11. ​Remove the foil and run a table knife around the inside edge of the pan; remove the pan's sid​e, wrap in plastic and freeze until ready to use. I find freezing the cheesecake makes it much easier to slice. Slice and thaw the cake as needed - return unused portions to the freezer, well covered with saran wrap.​
  12. When ready to serve, heat the lemon curd slightly over a double boiler or in the microwave and drizzle over the top of your slices. Let stand at room temperature for 20 minutes.  ​Enjoy!​
  13. ​**PLEASE NOTE, once the cheesecake has been in the freezer overnight, you can then remove the bottom of the pan from the cheesecake more easily, and then re-wrap the cake well in plastic wrap and return to freezer.​

Crepes with Lemon Ricotta Filling

Crepes are one of my favorite foods and can be quite versatile.  Used for dessert, they can be filled with a variety of ingredients: chocolate, Nutella, mascarpone to name a few.  Or served at breakfast with ricotta cheese and just a touch of sweetness.  At lunch or dinner, they can be filled with spinach, chicken and mushroom cream sauce, or thinly sliced ham and a lightly scrambled egg or even an herbed cream cheese with smoked salmon and sliced radish. Any way you serve them, they are delightful, and light on carbohydrates.

I was cleaning out our coal stoves, and discovered an old cast-iron crepe pan. I couldn’t resist! Passion took over and I set about cleaning it up, trying out recipes, and finding something that I wanted to share.  This simple breakfast crepe will be a nice change on the weekend, when you want to do something a little more special for your family.

 

Blessed New Year!

 

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Rating: 4.43
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Crepes with Lemon Ricotta Filling
Makes about 6 8-inch crêpes, recipe can be doubled as needed
SERVINGS
3people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
20 mins
PREP TIME
30mins
READY IN
1 hr

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Place the flour, milk, eggs, salt, and melted butter (and optional sugar and vanilla) in a blender and blend for about 20 seconds until batter is smooth. Alternatively, whisk everything together in a bowl until thoroughly combined and frothy.
  2. Cover the bowl and let the batter sit for at least 1/2 hour on the counter or overnight in the refrigerator.
  3. Before cooking the crêpes, assemble everything you'll need by your stove top: the batter, the pan, the oil and pastry brush and a spatula. If your bowl doesn't have a pour spout, have a ladle or 1/4-cup measuring cup handy.
  4. Place the pan over medium heat and brush your pan with oil to coat the bottom. Let it sit on the flame for a minute to get hot. Pour in about ¼-1/3 cup of batter. Immediately, pick up the pan and swirl it to coax the batter into an even layer on the bottom of the pan.
  5. When the crêpe has browned slightly on the bottom, carefully work a spatula underneath it and flip. Cook the second side briefly, just to set the batter.
  6. Tilt the pan and loosen the crêpe, then slide it onto the cooling rack or wax paper
  7. Continue making crêpes with the rest of the batter, brushing more oil on the pan as needed to keep the crêpes from sticking.
  8. If not eating the crêpes immediately, stack them one on top of the other as they cool. If they seem sticky, place a square of wax paper or parchment between them. Place the stack in a sealable plastic bag and store in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for a few months.
Lemon Ricotta Filling
  1. Whip all of the above ingredients together in a mixer until smooth and creamy. If using cream cheese, whip this first until creamy and then add the other ingredients
  2. Spoon about 2 Tbsp of the filling into one of the “corners” of the crepes and fold into ¼’s
  3. Arrange on plate and sprinkle with mixed berries and powdered sugar to serve, or serve with homemade blueberry sauce (below).
Homemade Blueberry Sauce
  1. In a medium saucepan over high heat, combine sugar, water, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
  2. Whisk until blended, then add blueberries.
  3. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring constantly, until juice is clear and sauce is slightly thickened, about 2 minutes.
  4. Serve at room temperature

Vegetable Stack Sandwich on Homemade Focaccia with Pesto and Ricotta

Vegetable Stack Sandwich on Homemade Focaccia with Pesto and Ricotta

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Vegetable Stack Sandwich on Homemade Focaccia with Pesto and Ricotta
SERVINGS
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
COOK TIME
35-40mins.
PREP TIME
READY IN
155mins.

Ingredients

Instructions

Focaccia:
  1. Pour the warm water in a small bowl.
  2. Sprinkle the yeast, sugar and 2 Tablespoons of the flour over the the water.
  3. Stir until dissolved, and then let sit until foamy, about 15 minutes.
  4. In a large bowl, place the 4 Tablespoons olive oil, salt, 1 cup of the flour and the yeast mixture.
  5. Whisk hard until smooth, about 3 minutes.
  6. Add the remaining flour, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring until a soft, sticky dough is formed.
  7. Turn onto a floured surface and knead to form a springy ball, dusting with flour to prevent sticking, about 3 minutes.
  8. Place the dough in a greased deep container, and let rise until triple in bulk, about 1 1/2 hours.
  9. Grease a 17 x 11 inch baking sheet and sprinkle with cornmeal.
  10. Place the dough ball on a lightly floured surface.
  11. Press and flatten the dough.
  12. Lift and pull gently, stretching to fit the baking sheet.
  13. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and let rise at room temperature until doubled in bulk.
  14. Meanwhile combine herbs and 1/3 cup olive oil, let sit for 30 minutes.
  15. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.
  16. Using fingertips or knuckles, gently poke indentations all over the surface of the dough about 1/4 inch deep.
  17. Drizzle the oil/herb mixture over the surface of the dough, letting it pool in indentations. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes until nicely browned.
  18. Sprinkle with salt if desired.
Stack Sandwich:
  1. Lay the eggplant out onto trays lined with paper towel, sprinkle with salt, and let sit for about 10 minutes.
  2. Blot with more paper towel.
  3. Place eggplant, zucchini, red pepper and onion on baking sheets greased with olive oil.
  4. Brush all vegetables generously with olive oil, sprinkle with kosher salt. Bake in a 400 degree F oven until tender.
  5. Cut Focaccia into squares, and then cut into 2 layers. Spread each layer with pesto, and the bottom with 2 teaspoons ricotta.
  6. Place baby spinach next, then a slice of eggplant, onion, tomato, a couple of slices of zucchini and finally some strips of red pepper.
  7. Place top layer of focaccia on this and you have a great sandwich!