Easy-peasy Lemon Cheesecake
I first made this Easy-peasy Cheesecake many years ago adapting a recipe for Lemon Meringue Pie from one of my Mum’s cookbooks called ‘Magic in the Kitchen’, dating, I think from the 1950’s. The ‘magic’ came from what you can do with condensed milk! When you add lemon juice it thickens remarkably; when you boil a can, carefully, it becomes caramel. The recipes in here were family favourites and it delights me that Mum’s handwriting is on lots of pages too. Kj, one of my lovely daughters, adapted the recipe to make her fabulous Lime and Ginger Cheesecake which is also on these pages and is only a little more complicated.
For the base
- 15 digestive biscuits
- 75 g butter, melted
- a tablespoon or two of caster sugar depending on your taste. We like no added sugar.
For the delicious middle
- 1 can of condensed milk (397g) (not the light version – it won’t thicken properly)
- 300g soft cream cheese (again, not the low fat version, it doesn’t work. I’ve tried it!) Take it out of the fridge a couple of hours before you want to make the dish if possble. It makes it easier to mix.
- 3 large lemons, grated rind and juice
- 1 lime, just the zested rind to decorate with
How to do it
Make the base first –
- Line a loose bottomed flan tin with cling film.
- Crush the biscuits by putting them into a plastic bag and bashing with a rolling pin. Take care not to burst the bag!
- Melt the butter in a medium size pan.
- Add grated rind of one lemon to the just-warm butter.
- Stir in the crushed crumbs and mix around until all the crumbs are buttery.
- Press the mixture into your chosen tin, coming up the sides. I have used a shallow dish 28 cms diameter here as I want the dish to serve lots of people easily. It could be made in a deeper dish of 23 cms diameter but you get fewer slices – fine just for the family!
- Pop the dish into the freezer to firm up as you make the filling.
Make the filling
- Using a balloon whisk, mix the cream cheese with the grated rind of two large lemons.
- Add the condensed milk and mix.
- Pour in the lemon juice from the three large lemons , about 150 mls. If you warm the lemons for 10 seconds or so in the microwave, the juice flows more easily.
- Mix until the mixture thickens.
- Scoop the delicious gloop into the chilled base, smooth off and using a zester, put some lime threads onto the top to decorate.
- Either chill for a few hours or it freezes well. I prefer to freeze it as then it comes out of the tin very easily, peel off the cling film and put it on the serving dish to thaw.
I’m serving this tonight and will add a photo of it on the plate later.
Do try it! It really is the easiest and most delicious of desserts!