Lemon and Berry Swirl Mini Cheesecakes

This year for my family Christmas party I was asked to make dessert – my favorite thing to make for any party! There were about 40 people coming to the party, so I had to make a lot of dessert.

I love serving mini cheesecakes. Everyone gets their own personal cheesecake, it’s easy to serve, and by baking a fruit swirl into the cheesecake, it’s already decorated and ready to eat.

Walkers sent me a collection of their delicious, buttery shortbread cookies and I decided they would make a fabulous cheesecake crust. So I made 4 dozen mini cheesecakes; 1 dozen mini lemon cheesecakes with a Walkers Lemon Thins crust, 2 dozen mini raspberry swirl cheesecakes with a Walkers Raspberry Thins crust, and 1 dozen blackberry swirl mini cheesecakes with a graham cracker crust.

All the flavors were rich, creamy and fabulous, but the lemon swirl mini cheesecakes were my favorite.

The berry/lemon swirl is easy to do. I just warm some jam/lemon curd in a baggie in the microwave. Trim one corner of the baggie and swirl the jam/curd on top of the cheessecake.

Lemon and Berry Swirl Mini Cheesecakes
 
Yield: 12 mini cheesecakes
Ingredients
  • 1 cup Walkers Lemon Thins crumbs, (1 package)
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 Cup sugar
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest
  • 2 Tablespoons sour cream
  • Pinch of salt
Directions
  1. Preheat oven to 300º. In a medium bowl, combined cookie crumbs, 2 tablespoons sugar  and melted butter. Divide crumbs evenly into 12 mini cheesecake or muffin cups. With fingers or round end of a wooden spoon, press crust down evenly.
  2. In a stand or electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar until well combined. Add in eggs one at a time following with the vanilla, sour cream, pinch of salt. Mix until just combined.
  3. Fill each crust almost to the top with cheesecake batter. Pipe about a teaspoon of lemon curd on top of each mini cheesecake and swirl curd into batter with a knife or toothpick to make a pretty design on top.
  4. Bake for 18-20 minutes or until cheesecake is set. Remove from oven and let sit in pan at room temperature for 30 minutes before removing. Transfer mini cheesecakes to a cooling rack to cool completely, another 30 minutes or so.
  5. Refrigerate until serving.
Lemon Curd
  1. Combine yolks, lemon zest, lemon juice, and sugar in a small saucepan. Whisk to combine. Set over medium heat, and stir constantly with a wooden spoon, making sure to stir sides and bottom of pan. Cook until mixture is thick enough to coat back of wooden spoon, 5 to 7 minutes.
  2. Remove saucepan from heat. Add the butter, one piece at a time, stirring with the wooden spoon until consistency is smooth.
  3. Transfer mixture to a medium bowl. Lay a sheet of plastic wrap directly on the surface of the curd to avoid a skin from forming; wrap tightly. Let cool; refrigerate until firm and chilled, at least 1 hour. Store, refrigerated in an airtight container, up to 2 days. (This lemon curd recipe makes more than is necessary for for one batch of mini cheesecakes.)
Notes
!Berry Swirl Cheesecake
Use Walkers Raspberry Thins instead of Walkers Lemon Thins and substitute approximately 1/3 cup of seedless berry jam for the swirl on top instead of lemon curd.

Lemon Curd recipe from Martha Stewart.com