Wednesday, 20 June 2012

Lightened-Up Lemon Drop Cheesecake

This recipe was my dessert contribution to Father's Day, and man, it sure did take a lot of effort to make! I'm not trying to dissuade anyone from attempting to make this, but I felt like Martha Stewart's lesser sister attempting to recreate one of her more difficult recipes.

I guess it's not so much that the recipe is DIFFICULT, but rather, it is time consuming and labor intensive...there is a lot of wait time in between each step and it seems like this cake can either take all day to make (like I attempted) or can be done over a couple days.

This is not to say that the taste payoff is not worth it. Let me tell you, this cake was DELICIOUS! Super lemony, but very light and creamy. It wasn't a super dense cheesecake at all, and it would be a perfect addition to a nice summer meal...if you have the time to put into it!

Overall, I would say that, if you're feeling adventurous and want a challenge, then you should definitely try this cake. The taste, and impressive look of the cake, will WOW your dinner guests for sure.

Last Month: Chocolate Crinkle Cookies
                      Chicken Scaloppini

Lightened-Up Lemon Drop Cheesecake
*The recipe says it takes 24 hours to make this cake, but I was able to do it over the span of about 8 1/2 hours*
Yields 16-20 servings
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 Tbsps granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

1 cup 2% cottage cheese
3 pkgs light cream cheese
1/2 cup 2% plain Greek yogurt
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 Tbsp lemon zest
3 Tbsps lemon juice
1 tsp vanilla
3 eggs

1/2 cup whipping cream
2 Tbsps granulated sugar
1/4 cup 2% Greek yogurt

4 lemons
1 cup granulated sugar

1) Peel each lemon from top to bottom using a vegetable peeler (avoid white pith). Cut the peeled lemon rinds lengthwise into 1/8 inch strips.
2) In a skillet, boil 2 cups of water. Add lemon strips and boil for about 1 minute. Drain and set aside.
3) In the same skillet, boil a cup of water and 1 cup sugar over high heat for 2 minutes. Add lemon strips and reduce heat. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Remove from heat, and let the strips cool in the syrup for 10 minutes. Drain to discard the syrup, and place strips on a drying rack covered in wax paper. Be sure to lay strips so that they are not touching one another. Let dry, about 8-10 hours.

1) Preheat oven to 325 F. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line sides of pan with parchment paper, and center the pan on a large square of heavy-duty tinfoil, pressing the foil up the sides of the pan. Set aside.
2) Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and butter in a medium-sized bowl until crumbs are moistened. Press over the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for about 15 minutes. Let cool on rack. Reduce oven heat to 300 F.

1) Drain cottage cheese completely in a strainer, shaking to drain any excess whey. In a food processor, whirl cottage cheese until it becomes a paste.
2) Add cream cheese and yogurt, whirl until smooth, scraping down sides of bowl often.
3) Transfer the batter to your mixer, and beat in sugar, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla. Add eggs, one at a time, until combined. Pour filling over the base, spreading to smooth the top.
4) Set pan in a larger pan. Pour enough hot water into the larger pan so that it comes about 1 inch up the sides of the smaller pan. Bake at 300 F for 1.5 hours.
5) Leaving cake in the oven, turn off oven and open the door a crack. Let cake stand in warm oven for about 1 hour.
6) Remove from water, and remove foil from sides of pan. Let pan cool on wire rack. Cover and chill cake for 4 hours.

1) Whip together cream and sugar until stiff peaks form. Fold in yogurt.
2) Spread over top of cake. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
3) Remove sides of pan, arrange candied lemon zest around top edge of cheesecake.

(Recipe adapted from Canadian Living)


  1. I love that you used greek yogurt! Looks amazing!

  2. Oh my goodness. Yum, yum! This cheesecake looks amazing. I love that you lightened it up with greek yogurt.