I am so sick of the flourless chocolate cake that I, and thousands of other bakers, make for Passover each year. Yes, you can tweak it. Yes, there are countless variations. But aren’t you ready for some dessert variety this year?
I was so ready for something new that I was willing to ignore my husband’s preference for chocolate to try something citrus, something fresh, something…different.
You can make this Passover Lemon Cheesecake 2 days in advance, so it doesn’t interfere with the rest of your preparations. It’s so easy, you may as well make it in addition to the chocolate cake you’ve always made. Feel free to substitute your favorite filling–but the crust is a sure winner, even if you’re not keeping Kosher for Passover.
Passover Lemon Cheesecake (adopted from Epicurious)
- 3/4 cup sliced blanched almonds (I used almond meal; so no Food Processor was needed for me! Who hoo!)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2/3 cup matzo cake meal
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled slightly (I needed a tablespoon more to ensure that the crust was moist)
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F with rack in middle.
- Pulse almonds, sugar, matzo cake meal, and salt in a food processor until finely ground. (Or use almond meal and nix this step completely). 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 degrees F.
- Beat together cream cheese and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. When you think you’re done, keep mixing until the batter is silky smooth.
- 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.
- If not eating that evening, loosely cover and chill (for up to 2 days).