This tiny little dessert packs a daringly delicious punch of bright lemon flavor with an unexpected twist of candied ginger crumbled on top. It's really special.
My recipe yields one dozen of these bad boys, so be sure to have plenty of friends at the ready to partake. Otherwise, there's a distinct possibility that you’ll devour them all one by one.
The ingredients for the cheesecake batter are staples: Cream cheese, eggs, sugar, lemon juice (or vanilla extract). The vanilla wafer crust is just about the easiest trick in the book, yet it tastes perfectly delightful.
Beat softened cream cheese until fluffy, then mix in sugar until light as a feather. Finally, add juice and eggs to further lighten the batter into a cloudy confection.
Bake for 25 minutes while you whip up the lemon curd custard.
Making lemon curd sounds intimidating but I promise it's not. There are very few ingredients: butter, eggs, sugar and lemon juice, with the option to add lemon zest.
The only thing to remember is to have 10 minutes set aside to whisk ingredients in a heat-proof bowl over simmering water for smooth and creamy custard every time.
Remember to spread plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the curd to avoid an unsightly skin. Then refrigerate for an hour and top cooled cheesecakes with a generous dollop.
Cool cheesecake and curd in the refrigerator for at least an hour.
Scoop one tablespoon of lemon curd onto each cheesecake, crumble ginger on top and enjoy!
Quick & Easy Tip: You never know when you’re going to get the call that your mother-in-law, friend or coworker is on the way over, so I like to have these on hand to whip up something fabulous last-minute. Simply microwave the cream cheese 15 seconds to soften, then do your thing. When your guest arrives, the heavenly scent will already be wafting from your oven. You're so fabulous!
No time to make lemon curd? Drop the lemon juice from the cheesecake batter and add pure vanilla extract instead. Then bake as usual and top cooled cheesecakes with fresh berries or your favorite fruit jam.
Watch my video on YouTube to make this dessert along with me, step by step.
Recipe -- Mini Cheesecakes with Lemon Curd & Candied Ginger Sprinkles
Yield - 12 cheesecakes
2 pkg (16 oz. total) cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
Juice of half a lemon (about 1 tbsp.)
12 vanilla wafers
12 paper cupcake liners
For lemon curd and ginger topping:
1 heaping cup of sugar
½ to ¾ cup fresh lemon juice (your desired tartness)
4 tbsp. unsalted butter
6 (1-inch) pieces candied ginger, finely chopped
Zest of 1 lemon, finely diced (optional)
1 ½ cups water (for steaming custard)
Heat oven to 350°F
Line muffin tin with cupcake liners.
Beat cream cheese in mixer on medium speed until fluffy.
Mix in granulated sugar and lemon juice. Add eggs, one at a time.
Put one vanilla wafer, bottom down, in each muffin cup.
Scoop cream cheese mixture into muffin cups. (I like to use an ice cream scoop to get even-size cheesecakes).
Bake approximately 25 minutes.
Refrigerate 2 hours or up to overnight.
For lemon curd and ginger topping:
Bring water to simmer over medium heat in a small saucepan.
Whisk eggs to break yolk in a medium-size heat-proof bowl.
Whisk in sugar until completely combined.
Add lemon juice (zest is optional)
Carefully place bowl over simmering water.
Whisk for 10 minutes non-stop until a smooth custard forms (170 degrees F).
Add in butter, ½ tbsp. at a time, whisking until smooth between pats.
Remove from heat.
Gently press plastic wrap on top of curd so it doesn’t form a skin.
Refrigerate one hour or up to overnight.
Scoop tablespoonsful of curd onto cheesecakes and top with candied ginger.