xmas month 2021- lemon and passionfruit curd burnt basque cheesecake

Cheesecake is a bit of a classic at Christmas time so I decided to make a lemon and passionfruit curd burnt basque cheesecake. It doesn't have a base and it’s cooked in a very hot oven which caramelizes the top of the cheesecake, giving the cheesecake its characteristic burnt flavour.

As there isn’t a base to protect the cheesecake, you line the tin with 2 overlapping layers of baking paper. Lemon passionfruit curd is swirled through the cheesecake before baking and also through the whipped cream topping. 

You can buy the lemon curd and stir through some passionfruit pulp or you can make your own curd. I’ve included a really easy microwave curd recipe for you, which is best made the day before you make the cheesecake to allow it time to cool and set. The cheesecake also requires a long cooling time, so it’s also best made the day before serving. The cheesecake is at it's best served at room temperature so decorate it just before serving and as it's very rich, small slices.

Here’s the recipe for you which makes an 8 inch cake, which I adapted from here. For all my recipes I use a 250 ml cup, a 20 ml tablespoon, unsalted butter and 60 g eggs. My oven is a conventional oven so if you have a fan-forced oven you may need to reduce the temperature by 20°C. 

Lemon and Passionfruit Curd Basque Cheesecake
Lemon and passionfruit curd  
1 egg
⅓ cup (70g) caster sugar
80mls (⅓ cup) fresh lemon juice
2 tsp finely grated lemon rind
Pinch salt
45g unsalted butter, chopped at room temperature
The pulp of 1 passionfruit

750g cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup (220g) caster sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups (375ml) thickened cream
1 tsp finely grated lemon rind
1 tsp vanilla bean paste
Pinch of salt
1/4 cup (35g) plain flour
⅔ cup lemon curd
300 mls softly whipped cream, to serve

Microwave passionfruit curd 
Whisk the egg, sugar, juice, lemon rind and salt in a microwave-safe glass bowl until combined. Cook on low in the microwave for 3-4 minutes stirring every minute, or until a smooth, thick curd forms.

Sieve the curd to remove any eggy bits and lemon rind. Set aside to cool a little before stirring in the unsalted butter. Allow the curd to cool completely before storing in the fridge in an airtight container. When cold, stir through the passionfruit pulp


Preheat oven to 220°C, conventional. Grease an 8 inch springform pan. Place a 30cm x 40cm sheet of baking paper on a clean work surface. Top with another sheet of baking paper, turning 90 degrees to create a cross. Line the prepared pan with paper cross, pleating and folding the sides to fit.

Use an electric mixer to beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until the sugar dissolves and the mixture is very smooth. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until the mixture is smooth and silky.

With the motor running, gradually add the thickened cream in a thin, steady stream. Continue beating until smooth. Add the lemon rind, vanilla and salt and beat to combine. Sift flour over the cream cheese mixture. Beat on low until smooth. Spoon over 2 tbs of the curd and use a large metal spoon to gently marble it through the mixture.

Pour half the cream cheese mixture into the prepared pan then spoon over another 2 tbs of curd. Pour over the remaining cream cheese mixture and use a round-bladed knife to gently marble. Place the cheesecake on an oven tray and bake for 55 minutes in the centre of the oven at 220°C or until the cheesecake is dark brown and puffed but still has a jiggle in the middle. Set aside to cool completely then place in the fridge to chill for 2 hours.
For a softer texture bring the cheesecake to room temperature before serving. Place the whipped cream in a bowl with a little of the remaining curd and gently marble. Top the cheesecake with the cream mixture then drizzle the cheesecake with the remaining curd. Cut into slices to serve.

If passionfruit isn't in season where you live, just leave it out and make the lemon curd version. It will be equally delicious. The beautiful white serving plates you see featured are by Noritake for work I did for Everten.
See you all again next week for the final recipe of Xmas month 2021.
Bye for now,


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