Easter means brighter, fresher desserts, and this fits that description perfectly. Ideal for brunch, lunch or dinner, these are a real treat. I found the recipe on “Live Well Bake Often”, and, unusually for me ….. I didn’t change a thing!
For the crust:
- 6 full-sheets (90 grams) graham crackers (or ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs)
- 3 tablespoons (45 grams) butter, melted
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
To make the crust:
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Spray each cavity of a 12-count mini cheesecake pan well with nonstick cooking spray and set aside. (or silicone muffin pan). If you want to use a traditional muffin tin I would recommend using liners for easier removal.
- Add the graham crackers to a blender or food processor and process until you have fine crumbs. Scoop the crumbs into a mixing bowl, add the melted butter and sugar, and mix until everything is well combined. Evenly distribute the mixture between all 12 cavities in the mini cheesecake pan, making sure to press each one down firmly into one even layer. Bake at 325°F for 5 minutes, remove from the oven, and set aside to cool. Keep oven temperature at 325°F.
For the lemon cheesecake filling:
- 12-ounces brick-style cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ½ cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
- 3 tablespoons (45 ml) fresh lemon juice
- Zest of one lemon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 1 large egg, room temperature
- 1 large egg yolk, room temperature
To make the cheesecake filling:
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add in the granulated sugar and mix until well combined. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract until well combined. Scrape down the sides of the bowl if needed, then mix in the egg and egg yolk on low speed until just combined.
- Evenly distribute the cheesecake filling between all 12 cavities of the mini cheesecake pan (or muffin pan) and return to the oven. Bake at 325°F for 17-20 minutes or until the tops of the cheesecakes are set.
- Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight. Once the cheesecakes are chilled, remove them from the pan. Top with whipped cream and fresh berries if desired, serve, and enjoy!