Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares
Happy long Easter weekend!
While I will be partaking in zero Easterly activities this weekend, I will be postponing them to next weekend. I think it is very mean to have an exam a few days after Easter, no?
Last week, I came home with 15 lemons. Actually, that is not unusual for me. What was unusual was that they were not just any lemons: they were Meyer lemons. These lemons are more sweet, less tart than regular lemons. So much so that I could easily eat a raw Meyer lemon. Just don’t ask me how I know… Last year, I tracked them down at Whole Foods but didn’t search them out this year. I thought I had missed their season. But there they were at my local ethnic grocer. The lemons were a bit on the tiny side but considering all 15 were for $2, this was an amazing bargain. Even if I had no plans for the lemons… yet.
Undeterred by my recent dessert
flops experiments (more on that in a later post), I decided to work with Katie’s recipe for Lemon Squares. I’ve had a baked tofu cheesecake on my recipe to-do list for a while. However, I usually get distracted by other dessert options.
Instead of flour, I used ground almonds. I also made my own powdered sugar by grinding coconut sugar in my Vitamix (how cool was that!). Since I was using Meyer lemons, I tasted as I went along. Not as much sweetener was needed.
I increased the filling, with all intentions of baking it in a small casserole dish but at the last minute, plopped it into a large springform pan. I figured it would be easier to remove unscathed. Turns out the joke was on me, because the larger surface area meant these were very short. Not what I was aiming for.. I also didn’t add any yellowing ingredients like turmeric, so they weren’t the characteristic fluorescent yellow of lemon squares. And I also cut them like pie slices, not squares… In retrospect, it was destiny.
After I baked them, they still needed to be chilled overnight and then I tasted them…. duh duh duh… I made a Meyer lemon tofu cheesecake!
It looks rather pitiful, but I can assure you it tasted great. Not a true cheesecake, but more cheesecake than lemon square, me thinks. Very lemony, to my liking, although it was balanced by the sweetness of the crust. It was kind of fun to have a lot of crust for a little amount of filling, although next time, I would certainly double the filling, or use a smaller contraption to bake it (I kind of like Amber’s method here of lining it with parchment paper and then slipping the whole thing out afterwards).
Have any fun plans for the weekend?
Meyer Lemon Cheesecake Squares
Adapted from Chocolate Covered Katie
1 cup almond flour
1/3 cup powdered coconut sugar
1/4 tsp salt
2 tbsp plus 2 tsp coconut oil (40g) – I would decrease this next time to 2 tbsp or so
zest from Meyer lemons
1/4 cup + 1/3 cup Meyer lemon juice
350g MoriNu silken-extra-firm tofu
2 tbsp powdered coconut sugar or to taste (I used Meyer lemons which are not as sweet)
2.5 tsp arrowroot or cornstarch
optional: a few drops yellow food coloring or tiny pinch turmeric, only if desired for color (did not do which is why mine are not yellow)
1. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease a springform pan (mine was 9″ but I would go smaller).
2. If you need to make powdered sugar, place in a blender and process until finely ground.
3. In a small bowl, combine ground almonds, powdered sugar, salt and coconut oil. Push into the greased pan. Bake for 10 minutes.
4. Meanwhile, prepare your filling. In a blender, combine lemon zest and juice, tofu, powdered sugar and arrowroot flour. Add colouring agent if desired. Blend until smooth. Add additional sweetener if required.
5. Once crust is finished, pour filling overtop and bake another 26 minutes (if you use a smaller pan, it will take longer, so watch that it doesn’t burn). I added a container filled with water to make the oven moist (some said the filling had cracked on them).
6. Remove from oven and let cool 10 minutes. Allow to cool at least another 2 hours uncovered in your refrigerator.
Serves 8 as a light dessert.