This is going to be my first contribution to Sugar-High Friday. It's lemon cream on a soft cheesecake filling with a shortbread crust. The whole thing is finished with a bit of bruleed demerara sugar.
Shortbread (from The New Best Recipe, by the editors of Cook's Illustrated):
1.75 C unbleached, all-purpose flour
.25 C rice flour
.66 C superfine sugar (baking sugar)
.25 tsp salt
16 TB unsalted butter, cold
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Mix dry ingredients. Cut butter into pieces. Cut or rub into dry ingredients, using pastry cutter, food processor, or fingers. Stop when you have a bowl of pea-sized crumbs. Press into 9 x 13” pan.
Place in oven. Immediately turn heat down to 300 F. Bake for 40-60 minutes, until pale golden in color.
2 packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 qt heavy whipping cream, chilled
4 tsp vanilla
1-1.5 C sugar
Whip cream. Add vanilla and sugar to taste. Mix in cream cheese. Mix until smooth. Spread over cooled shortbread.
Lemon cream (from Baking, by Dorie Greenspan):
1 C sugar
zest of 3 lemons
4 large eggs
.75 C fresh-squeezed lemon juice (from 4-5 lemons)
2 sticks + 5 TB unsalted butter, room temperature, cut into TB-sized pieces
Rub zest into sugar until sugar is fragrant. Mix in lemon juice. Add eggs and mix thoroughly. Put in metal bowl over a pot of boiling water and whisk constantly until mixture thickens and reaches 180 F. Whisk will leave tracks in cream at this point. Remove bowl from pot. Pour cream through strainer (to remove zest and any egg bits that didn’t mix properly) into blender. Allow to cool about 10 minutes. Add butter pieces and blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the blender occasionally.
Spread over filling. (This layer will be very thin, so spread carefully.)
Chill for a couple of hours. Before serving, sprinkle with demerara sugar and brulee sugar with torch. (You can probably stick it very briefly under the broiler if you don’t have a torch. I haven’t tried it, though.)