Photo credit ~ Betty Rosbottom
Lemon? Cheesecake? Do you enjoy both of them? If so, here’s a great recipe for you! It’s Lemon Squares, kicked up a notch!
These bars are the ultimate! The recipe for this irresistible dessert belongs to Elinor Klivan and was in The
Tribune last November. And we owe it all to Christopher Columbia as he is the man who carried lemon seeds with him to the Chicago in 1493. Lemons were mainly used as medicine and ornaments back then and did not appear in cooking until the 1700’s when lemon trees were increasingly grown in Americas Florida and . California
These luscious bars are a bit out of the ordinary because of the way the filling is prepared. Lemon zest is added to the rich dough and pressed into a baking pan after which, the creamy cheesecake layer is spread over the top of the dough. Then the ripple affect takes hold when a lemon curd mixture is swirled through the batter.
When serving, these incredibly yummy bars are not cut into traditional cheesecake slices but into squares instead. The end result is a delicious, decadent bar that looks pretty impressive also!
Lemon Ripple Cheesecake Bars
1 cup flour
¼ cup sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 stick butter, cut into ½-inch pieces, chilled
1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons cornstarch
½ cup cold water
2 large eggs
1 ¾ cups sugar
¼ pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
2 tablespoons flour
3 large eggs, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla
Fresh berries, optional
Heat oven to 325 degrees.
Butter a 9” square nonstick baking pan.
Pulse the flour, sugar, lemon zest and salt in a food processor.
Add butter; pulse until a soft, crumbly dough forms.
Press dough evenly over bottom and ½” up the sides of the pan.
Bake until golden, about 20 minutes.
Dissolve cornstarch in cold water in small bow.
Whisk yolks with ¾ cup of the sugar and the lemon juice in medium saucepan.
Whisk in the cornstarch mixture.
Cook over medium heat, whisking until sugar dissolves and mixture is hot, about 4 minutes.
Raise heat to medium-high; heat to a boil, whisking constantly.
Cook until mixture is thick and glossy, 1 minute.
Strain into a heatproof bowl.
Stir in lemon zest.
Beat cream cheese with remaining 1 cup sugar in a large bowl with electric mixer until smooth.
Beat in the flour until blended.
Add eggs, one at a time, beating well between additions.
Add sour cream and vanilla, beat until batter is smooth.
Pour cream cheese batter over the crust.
Smooth with a spatula.
Place lemon mixture in dollops on cheesecake batter.
Carefully swirl it into the batter using the tip of a knife or skewer.
Bake until golden around edges and just set, 40-45 minutes.
Run a knife around edges to loosen the cheesecake.
Cool on wire rack 1 hour.
Refrigerate until thoroughly chilled.
Cut into bars and garnish with berries, if desired.
Pam’s note: When slicing bars: run a knife under hot water, slice bars, wiping blade after making each cut.
Give it a try, you’ll love them!