March 30, 2010

Passover Lemon Cheesecake & Seder

Last night was the first night of Passover.  Traditionally, we gather our family that is nearby and read the Haggadah together.  Once we finish reading the story of Passover, the feast begins!

This was the first time hosting Seder for me.  The menu planning wasn't too difficult because we have certain dishes that we always serve and everyone would be disappointed if something was left off of the menu. 

Our Seder Menu:
Gefilte Fish
Matzah Ball Soup (I linked to the recipe I use, but made them much smaller than I did in that post)
Roasted Chicken
Brisket
Spinach Pie
Cranberry Sauce
Carrot Souffle
Noodle Kugel
Passover Brownies
Passover Lemon Cheesecake
Fresh Fruit Platter
Chocolate Covered Matzahs

Yes, it is quite a feast!  And, of course, there are tons of leftovers!  The menu shown above does not include the matazah and charoset that we also eat during the telling of the story of Passover.  So, you can imagine that the next morning you may still be full from dinner the night before!

I have shared several of the recipes from this menu before, so I thought I'd share the Passover Lemon Cheesecake this year since it is new for me.  When I told my Sis-in-Law, who lives much too far away in Phoenix, that I was hosting Passover this year she suggested a dessert that would knock our socks off.  The recipe comes from Gourmet magazine (so bummed it was shut down last year) and is a refreshing addition to the dessert portion of our meal as many of the treats have chocolate in them.  It is an extremely simple recipe to put together, just make sure you prepare it a day in advance in order to allow it plenty of time to chill. 

I was busy serving and cleaning dishes throughout the evening, so I didn't take the time to plate up a slice and take a drool-worthy photo... but, let me tell you this is a perfect springtime dessert!  You could use a traditional graham cracker crust or as Gourmet suggests try using shortbread for the crust. 

I know I'll be making this one again and again.  You can find a printable version of the recipe HERE at Epicurious. 


Passover Lemon Cheesecake
Source:  Gourmet, April 2008

Yield: Makes 8 to 10 servings

For crust
3/4 cup sliced blanched almonds, toasted and cooled
2/3 cup sugar
2/3 cup matzo cake meal
1/4 teaspoon salt
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Equipment: a 9-inch springform pan

Garnish: julienned lemon zest

Make crust:
Preheat oven to 350F with rack in middle.

Pulse almonds, sugar, matzo cake meal, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. Transfer to a bowl and stir in butter until combined well. Press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of springform pan. Bake until crust is firm and a shade darker, 12 to 15 minutes. Cool crust completely in pan on a rack.

Make filling and bake cheesecake:

Reduce oven temperature to 300°F.

Beat together cream cheese and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs 1 at a time, mixing until incorporated. Mix in zest and vanilla.

Put springform pan in a shallow baking pan and pour filling into cooled crust. Bake until filling is set 1 1/2 inches from edge but center is wobbly, 45 to 50 minutes (filling will continue to set as it cools). Transfer cake in pan to a rack and immediately run a knife around edge, then remove side of pan. Cool completely, 2 to 3 hours.

Cooks' note:  Cheesecake can be made 2 days ahead and chilled, loosely covered.
Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.
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7 comments:

Lynda said...

I'm sure it was so special to host this delicious meal Patsy-the cheesecake looks delicious!

pegasuslegend said...

looks awesome we make an italian version with ricotta, this looks rich and delicious~

Eve said...

I've been hounding my friend it tell me about traditional passover menues etc. You've saved her the trouble! It all looks wonderful :)

Patsyk said...

Lynda - it was special to host the meal this year. Our Aunt usually does it, so it was a lot to live up to!

Pegasuslegend - your version sounds wonderful!

Eve - another reason I posted the menu was so I would have it going forward... no need to go digging through random notes in a drawer!

Jamie said...

Patsy,
Your passover menu reminds me of the passover holidays I had with my family growing up. It brings back memories. The cheesecake sounds like the perfect ending to a special meal.

Eileen said...

I can vouch for that cheesecake because I was there at the dinner. It was the best lemon cheesecake I had ever tasted. Scrumptious and also filling. With all of the food on the table, it was the best way to end the night.

Sarah Caron said...

Oh, that sounds so delish ... and the menu looks mouthwatering.

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