lemon curd crumble cheesecake

A few years ago I made some lemon poppyseed cheesecake tartlets using an Ottolenghi recipe I found on the Guardian website. Individual tartlets are fiddly so I decided to combine all the features of the tartlets into a single cheesecake. With a farewell morning tea on the horizon, I put this together and kept my fingers crossed that all the different elements would work together.

Last weekend was a particularly cold weekend in Sydney and I had all sorts of trouble. I made the poppyseed base forgetting to add the sugar and then when I did, the base refused to come together. Then my foolproof lemon curd recipe turned out to not to be quite so foolproof and it required a bit of rescuing.

As there is lemon rind in the base and it's topped with lemon curd, I decided to flavour the cheesecake purely with vanilla. I baked the cheesecake for an hour and it was a vision - a perfectly even cheesecake with nary a crack. One hour later it had developed a bit of a crevasse. These days I refuse to worry about such matters because I knew I'd be covering the cheesecake with the lemon curd.

Here's the recipe for you. I used my little 16 cm tin and the cake will feed 8 but if you want to make a 23 cm cake, just double all the quantities and bake for the same time. You can use shop bought lemon curd, but if you'd like to make your own I've included my (normally) foolproof recipe. The lemon curd recipe makes more than enough curd to top the cake so you'll have some leftovers.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake
1 cup Plain Flour
¼ cup Caster Sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
100 grams unsalted butter
3 teaspoons poppy seeds

Preheat the oven to 180⁰C.

Place the flour, sugar and lemon rind into a food processor and whiz to combine. Add the butter and pulse until a soft dough forms. Remove the dough from the processor and gently knead the poppy seeds into the mixture.

Grease and line a 16 cm spring-form tin with baking paper. Press about half the mixture into the base of the spring-form tin. Bake the shortbread base in the preheated 180⁰C oven for 10 - 15 minutes or until the edges are lightly golden. Set to one side and allow the base to cool.

Meanwhile, line a baking sheet with baking paper. Roughly crumble the remaining shortbread mixture over the prepared baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10-15 minutes until golden. You can do this at the same time the cheesecake base is cooking. Allow the crumble topping to cool on a tray. When cool place in an airtight container until serving time.

1 x 250 gram packet of cream cheese, softened
50 grams ricotta cheese
¼ cup caster sugar
2 tsp plain flour
1 egg
1 egg yolk
1 teaspoon vanilla essence
2 tablespoons yoghurt or cream
1 egg white
Additional 1 tbs caster sugar

Lower the oven temperature to 160⁰C. Put the cream cheese, the ricotta cheese, the ¼ cup caster sugar and the 2 tsp plain flour in the food processor and whiz until smooth. Add the egg, the yolk, the vanilla and the cream and blend until smooth. Pour the cheese filling into a medium sized bowl.

Place the egg white into a clean dry bowl and whisk until stiff peaks form. Beat in the remaining sugar until a meringue forms. Gently fold the egg white through the cheesecake batter. Pour the filling over the cooked base and bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour until the filling is almost set.

Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool in the turned off oven for an hour. When cool the cheesecake can be stored in the fridge.

Lemon curd
2 egg yolks
Finely grated rind of 1 lemon
60 ml lemon juice
1/3 cup caster sugar
60 gram unsalted butter

Place the egg yolks, the lemon rind, juice and sugar into a small bowl and place over a pan of simmering water. Whisk the mixture until smooth. Keep whisking for 10 minutes until thickened. Remove from the heat and incorporate the butter in small batches until incorporated. Set aside to cool. The mixture will continue to thicken once it cools. When cool, spoon the curd into a sterilised jar, seal and store in the fridge. The lemon curd will keep for a week or so in the fridge.

To serve
Lemon curd
Crumble topping
Icing sugar

Bring the cheesecake to room temperature. Spread the lemon curd over the top of the cooled cheesecake leaving a 1-2 cm rim. Sprinkle the icing sugar over the edges of the cheesecake. Lavishly sprinkle the crumble topping over the lemon curd and sift icing sugar over the top.

I took the cheesecake into work and it disappeared quickly, which is always a good sign. I ate my piece of cheesecake on Saturday and the recipe is a winner. The crumble is crunchy; the lemon curd is nice and tangy, while the cheesecake is velvety smooth. I'll add more grated lemon rind to the base, next time, maybe a whole lemon rather than a teaspoonful.

It's time for me to go and clean up the mess in my kitchen.

See you all again next week,



  1. Anonymous4:49 am

    I love this flavor, and I love that you showed the crack in your cheese cake and then hid it with all that yummy crumble

  2. I'm all for keeping things real! This cheesecake recipe always cracks though. It's the beaten egg white which makes the cheesecake rise like a soufflé then it collapses as it cools. I'd rather a light cheesecake with a cracked top than a leaden one with a perfect finish any day so I've learned to embrace it's imperfections.



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