Is it a cheesecake? Is it a slice? Well, it’s both actually – it’s a cheesecake but, with roughly the same ratio of crust to filling, it’s typically what we’d associate with a slice. As such, this Gluten-free Lemon Cheesecake Slice works equally well as either a tea-time treat or an after-dinner dessert.
I was intrigued when I saw this recipe on New Zealand’s Chelsea Sugar website. In Kiwi-land, we tend to enjoy our cheesecakes in classic round cake form with a fairly thin crust and a generous amount of filling. A cheesecake as a slice (or ‘bar’ as it’s often referred to overseas) is not so common down here. So, curiosity got the better of me and I just had to try it.
The result? A crisp, gluten-free, almond base (that’s totally delicious in its own right and tempting to eat on its own); a sublime cheese, ricotta and Greek yoghurt filling, and a to-die for tangy lemon curd topping. When I say ‘Oh yum!’ out loud at the first bite, you can bet it’s a good’un.
So, next time you want to impress at the next pot-luck dinner, BBQ, or afternoon tea, try this baby out – I guarantee you’ll get rave reviews. Enjoy!
GLUTEN-FREE LEMON CHEESECAKE SLICE
- 1-1/2 cups ground almonds
- 1/2 cup gluten free plain flour
- 1-1/4 cups caster sugar (superfine sugar) – NB: I found the base a bit too sweet, so would use 1 cup sugar next time
- 50 g unsalted butter, melted
- 1 egg yolk
- 1 tsp cold water
- 250 g packet light cream cheese
- 300 g fresh ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted (confectioner’s sugar)
- 1/4 cup Greek yoghurt
- 2 extra large eggs or 3 small eggs
- 1 tsp vanilla paste
- 1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
Lemon curd topping
- 1/2 cup icing sugar, sifted
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 1 extra large egg or 2 small eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- 50 g unsalted butter, cut into small dice
- Preheat oven to 170°C (340°F). Grease and line base of a 28x18cm slice pan (make sure the baking paper overlaps the edges so you can pull it out once it’s baked).
- For base: Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend until mixture just comes together. Press into pan; bake for 12–15 mins or until golden brown. Let it cool.
- For the filling: In a clean food processor bowl, blend the cream cheese and ricotta until smooth. Add remaining ingredients and blend until very smooth. Pour over the base and bake for 30-35 mins, or until the filling is just firm (you’re looking for a still slightly wobbly mixture if gently shaken, as it will continue to firm up in the fridge). Turn off the oven, leave door ajar for 10 mins then remove slice from oven. NB: At this point, instead of carrying on, you can pop it into the fridge to set up overnight and make and add the topping the next day.
- For the topping: Combine the icing sugar, lemon juice and eggs in a large bowl placed over a smaller saucepan of barely simmering water. Whisk for about 4-5 mins (this took more like 15 minutes for me) until mixture thickens – if you pick up some of the mixture with your whisk, it should fall onto the surface like a ribbon and hold its shape briefly before sinking back in. If using a thermometer, you want it to get to around 76°C (170°F). Be careful not to overheat it, or it will curdle! Remove from the heat and whisk in the butter a little at a time until smooth. Allow to cool. Gently spread over cheesecake filling.
- Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 1-2 hrs or overnight, or until cheesecake is firm to cut. Lift the cheesecake out of the pan by holding the baking paper edges. Cut into rectangles or squares to serve.
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