Cheesecake with Lemon Glaze and Pistachio Shortbread Crust
Ingredients (yields one 9-inch pie or 8x8-inch square cake):
For the shortbread cookie crust with pistachio: 1 cup flour, 1/8 teaspoon salt, 1/2 cup cold butter, 1/3 cup sugar, and 1/3 to 1/2 cup roasted pistachio (depends if you like alot of nuts or not)
For the cheesecake filling: 2 packs of (8-oz each) Philadelphia cream cheese- softened, 2/3 cup sugar, 2 large eggs, and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the lemon glaze: 1/2 cup powder or icing sugar and 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Baking equipment: 9-inch deep pie pan or spring cake pan, or 8x8-inch deep pan, at least 1-1/4 deep
Preheat oven to 325 degF
Cut wax paper to line the base and up to the sides of your baking pan
Cut cold butter to pieces and mix in with flour, salt and 1/3 cup sugar. Press the crumbly pieces to form a shortbread cookie crust on the base and sides of your lined pan. Make sure the base is thicker than the sides
Crush your roasted pistachios in your pestle or mortar. Or roughly chop them. Sprinkle them over the crust evenly
Bake the crust in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes or until it is set and slightly golden. Remove and let it cool
Preheat oven to 350 degF
Whip the softened cream cheese and 2/3 cup sugar until smooth. Add the eggs and mix at low speed for one to two minutes- be careful not to overdo this
Use a spatula to scrape down and fold in the vanilla extract , ensuring no lumps and ingredients are well incorporated
Pour the cheesecake batter over the baked crust (if there is more batter than expected for your pan, pour enough batter to fill the pan and reserve the rest to bake in a muffin pan. You can make more crust but adjust baking time)
Bake for 20 to 25 minutes. Check that the center of the cheesecake is set by inserting the tip of your paring knife or toothpick and it comes out clean when removed
Remove the cheesecake and let it cool
In a small saucepan over low heat, mix lemon juice and powder or icing sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Pour the glaze with a teaspoon over the cooling cheesecake
Once the cheesecake is cooled at room temperature, cover the cheesecake and let it continue to chill in the refridgerator for a couple of hours at least, before serving
Enjoy a slice of cheesecake with your favorite beverage!
Once chilled, you can slice the cheesecake and serves as cheesecake bars. You can omit the glaze and enjoy it with fresh fruits as well.
You can replace the glaze with fruit toppings. Mix 1 cup of your favorite sliced fruits or berries with 1 tablespoon of sugar. You can remove the cheesecake at the remaining 5 minutes of baking time, and top the fruit mixture and finish baking it in the oven.
Feel free to reduce the amount of sugar to your liking.