What celebrity chef do you like? One of my favorites is Alton Brown…I LOVE “Good Eats!”. A great marriage between science and cooking! I’ve heard about another great show that Alton is affiliated with is, “Iron Chef”, but I’ve never seen it! Well, Jen of Four Marrs One Venus and Julie of White Lights on Wednesday are co-hosting
I decided to participate….but what to cook! I grew up in Lexington, Kentucky, not far from Shakertown. One of their signature dishes is “Shaker Lemon Pie”. So, I decided to make this recipe but with a twist.
Shaker (Meyer) Lemon Mini Cheesecakes
(lemony cheesecake with a lemon caramel topping)
2 meyer lemons
2 8oz packages of cream cheese (softened)
1 1/2 cups of sugar divided
2 tsp all purpose flour
1 tsp vanilla
12 vanilla wafers
1 muffing pan (for 12 regular sized muffing)
12 cupcake liners (I prefer foil ones for cheesecakes)
heavy bottomed pan
tongs or fork
Slice ONE of your lemons VERY thin (removing the seeds but keeping the peel on). You want slices that are as thin as possible, say 1/16 inch thick. (I do not have a slicer so I am unable to cut beautiful slices so I then cut each of mine into fourths) Place them in a bowl. Add 1 cup sugar and toss together.
Cover your bowl loosely with plastic wrap and let it sit overnight.
Preheat your oven to 325 degrees F. In a bowl, add the zest from about half of your second lemon (approx 1 tsp). Also add the juice from one half of your second lemon (approx 1 Tbsp). You will also add the 2 packages of cream cheese, 2 eggs, remaining 1/2 cup of sugar, 2 tsp flour, and 1 tsp vanilla to your bowl. Using a mixer, mix until well combined. If you have a wisk attachment, add it and beat until fluffy.
Place your cupcake liners into your muffin pan. Next, put one vanilla wafer into the bottom of each liner (if the wafer does not completely cover the bottom of your liner, don’t freak…it’ll still work out well). Fill each liner with your cream cheese filling (they will be full). Bake in your over for 25 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean.
When done, remove them from the oven and let cool about an hour. Now place the entire pan in your refrigerator overnight to cool. In the morning they will look like this.
Also, in the morning, your lemon/sugar mix will look like this.
Put the lemon/sugar mixture into a shallow pan and heat on medium high heat. It will only take about 5 minutes or so and you will see the sugar bubble.
Cook until the lemon rinds begin to look translucent (about another 5 minutes or so). Using tongs or a fork, scoop out the lemons and place them on top of your cheesecakes. With all of the lemons removed, cook the sugar solution about another minute or so. This solution will be a lemony caramel concoction. You can either divide it evenly among all 12 cheesecakes like I did or you could just drizzle some on top if you’d like a lighter topping.
Be sure to refrigerate whatever is not eaten right away.
Note: If you have a mandoline and can make beautiful slices, it would be gorgeous if you could keep your lemon slices in tact and then add one slice on top of each cheesecake.