You may find this hard to believe however I had never tasted cheesecake until I was 20 years old. I grew up in Malta and cheesecake was never a dessert option on the menu. So I grew up never knowing what a cheesecake tasted like. Well not exactly…. as a cheesecake (or pastizz in Maltese) in Malta is a savory pastry filled with ricotta cheese or peas. At 20 years of age I moved to London and I went out to eat with a couple of classmates. When it was time for dessert they both ordered cheesecake. They raved about it so much that I ended up ordering cheesecake too and that is when my love for cheesecake begun. Unfortunately a year later my IBS symptoms and lactose intolerance struck meaning no more cheesecake for me…well that is if you don’t count the times when I had it anyways and suffered the consequences. But why should I suffer? So I decided to make my favourite cheesecake; lemon cheesecake…low FODMAP of course! It is delicious. Whilst this recipe is lactose free it is rich in fats therefore those of you who find fat is a trigger be mindful of this and if attempting the recipe have a small portion size. I made mini cheesecakes however my smallest tins where still quite big. I am considering buying mini dessert trays with push up bottoms to make even smaller ones, which will be more like cheesecake bites. Also remember to only have this as a treat once in a while.
Ingredients: (for 7-8 mini cheesecakes)
For lemon curd topping:
- juice of 1 lemon
- zest of 1 lemon
- 100g margerine
- 100g caster sugar
- 2 egg yolks
For biscuit crust:
- 12 gluten free digestive biscuits
- 1 tbsp caster sugar
- 55g margerine
For the cheesecake:
- 300g lactose free cream cheese
- 50g lactose free plain yoghurt or more lactose free cream cheese
- 185g caster sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 1/2 tbsps lemon juice
- zest of 1/2 a lemon
- 1/2 tsp vanilla essence or vanilla paste
For the lemon curd:
- Whisk the egg yolks with the caster sugar until white and creamy.
- Add the lemon juice and zest.
- Place in a bain-marie on low heat.
- Add the butter and whisk the mixture on the bain-marie for approximately 30 minutes until it thickens.
- Put aside to cool.
For the biscuit base:
- Crush the biscuits into crumbs.
- Combine the crushed biscuits, sugar and melted butter.
- Line the baking tins with baking paper. This will make removing the cheesecakes from the tins easier.
- Press the mixture in the bases and bake in a preheated oven at 180C for 5 minutes. You may reserve 1-2 tbsp of the mixture for decoration.
- Let the bases cool.
For the cheesecake:
- Whisk the cream cheese and yoghurt until smooth.
- Add the egg and whisk in well.
- Add the caster sugar gradually while whisking continuously.
- Add the lemon juice, zest and vanilla.
- Pour the mixture onto the baked bases.
- Bake in a preheated oven at 160C for approximately 15 minutes until the cheesecake is almost set and the middle has a slight wobble. Cooking time will vary depending on the diameter and thickness. You may need to cook less or longer. My tins were 5cm in diameter and 3cm high.
- Leave the cheesecake to cool and then chill in a refrigerator.
- Once chilled spread a layer of lemon curd on top.
- Remove from the baking tins.
- I decorated mine with some of the reserved crushed biscuit mixture, a piece of lemon and a mint leaf.