From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...I wanted to share this lovely cheese pie with those of you who have not yet settled on a holiday dessert. It is smooth and creamy and tart enough to please the most demanding lemon lover who might sit at your table. It has the added advantage of being really fast and really easy to prepare. The recipe was developed by Maida Heatter, so you know it will be good enough for your most discriminating taster. I have included her recipe for a crumb crust as well, and while I encourage you to use it, if you are short of time a prepared crust can be substituted. If you have all the filling ingredients at room temperature the pie can be oven ready in 10 minutes. It has a soft, creamy filling that needs to be thoroughly chilled before serving. I suggest you make the pie the day before you plan to serve it. This pie also freezes well, so it can be made days before you actually need it. If you have not yet tasted this tart and creamy treat, I hope you will give it a try. Here's the recipe.
Graham Cracker Crust...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of One Perfect Bite
1-1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
Pinch of allspice
3 ounces ( 3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
Mix together ingredients until moistened. Press into a 9-inch pie plate. Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes to set the crust.
Lemon and Cream Cheese Pie...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Maida Heatter
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
3 tablespoons lemon juice
3/4 cup ricotta cheese
8 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
Graham cracker crust (recipe above)
Fresh berries for garnish
1) Adjust a rack to middle of the oven and preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
2) Mix zest and juice and set aside. In a processor fitted with the metal chopping blade, blend ricotta cheese until it is perfectly smooth, about 1 minute.
3) In bowl of an electric mixer beat cream cheese until it is perfectly smooth. Add ricotta cheese and beat to mix. Then add sugar, vanilla and eggs one at a time, scraping bowl with a rubber spatula and beating until smooth after each addition.
4) When filling is perfectly smooth, stir in the lemon rind and juice, and pour into prepared graham cracker crust.
5) Bake 30 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven. Allow to cool to room temperature. Refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours. Garnish with fresh berries for serving. Yield: 1 9-inch pie.
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