Individual Lingonberry-Topped Cheesecakes

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Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Easy

  • Yield:

    16

    servings, 5 ounces each

Appears in

While you will probably find that these pretty, individual-size cheesecakes take a bit longer to make than a traditional 10-inch (25-cm) cake, due to their small size they bake, cool, and are ready to serve much more quickly, so this is definitely the way to go if you need to prepare cheesecake on short notice. They can easily be completed from homemade graham cracker crumbs through plating in less than 3 hours.

For good reason, lingonberries are known in my native country as “the red gold of the forest.” Although they are cultivated, to some extent, the majority are a product of nature growing wild all over Sweden, especially in the north. By the time they reach the United States, lingonberries demand a fairly steep price, so if they are too expensive or simply not available, try this variation. Bake the sour cream topping plain, let cool, then top with 5 thin strawberry slices, cut lengthwise and arranged in a fan shape with the points toward the center. You will need 1 medium-size attractive strawberry per serving. Glaze the fruit with pectin or apricot glaze and serve with strawberry sauce.

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Ingredients

  • 4 ounces (115 g) melted unsalted butter, approximately
  • 8 ounces (225 g) Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 2 pounds (910 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
  • 4 eggs, at room temperature
  • 10 ounces (285 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 pound 14 ounces (855 g) sour cream
  • 4 ounces (115 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (240 ml) lingonberries, pureed and strained (see Note)
  • Water
  • Sour Cream Mixture for Piping

Method

  1. Cut out pieces of baking paper to line the forms, using Figure 11-10 as a guide. The drawing as shown is the correct size for typical soufflé ramekins, 3¼ inches (8.1 cm) in diameter. If this size form is not available, coffee cups close to the same size work well. Adjust the size of the cutout accordingly. Trace the drawing, then cut 16 shapes out of baking paper (see Chef’s Tip). The flaps should extend about ¾ inch (2 cm) above the form on both sides so you can hold them to remove the dessert. Make a test before cutting all of the papers to be sure the flaps are long enough; adjust as needed. (See “Baking in Metal Rings,”.)
  2. Grease the inside of 16 ramekins, 3¼ inches (8.1 cm) in diameter, with melted butter. Line the forms with the papers, pressing the flaps against the sides.
  3. Mix the graham cracker crumbs with the remaining melted butter. If the crumbs are very dry, you may need additional butter to ensure that they bind together. Divide among the forms and press the crumbs evenly over the bottoms.
  4. Soften the cream cheese in a mixer at low speed, taking care not to incorporate too much air. Add the eggs to the 10 ounces (285 g) sugar and stir until well combined. Gradually add the mixture to the cream cheese, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl frequently to avoid lumps.
  5. Place the batter in a pastry bag with a No. 6 (12-mm) plain tip. Pipe the batter into the forms, dividing it equally among them. Be very careful not to get any batter on the sides at the top of the forms, as this will detract from the final presentation.

  6. Bake the cheesecakes at 375°F (190°C) for approximately 20 minutes or until just done. Take into consideration that they will set further as they cool.
  7. Mix the sour cream with the remaining 4 ounces (115 g) sugar. Place the mixture in a pastry bag with a No. 6 (12-mm) plain tip. Pipe the sour cream on top of the cakes. Flatten the top of the sour cream with the back of a spoon by moving it up and down a few times on top of the sour cream layer, or by tapping the forms against the table.
  8. Place part of the lingonberry puree in a paper pastry bag and cut a small opening. Pipe a small amount of the puree in a spiral pattern on top of the sour cream layer in each of the forms, starting in the center. Reserve the remaining puree for the sauce. Pull a small wooden skewer from the center of the spiral to the outside to create a spiderweb pattern (see Figure 16-8).
  9. Bake the cheesecakes for 4 minutes at 375°F (190°C) to set the sour cream. Let cool completely.
  10. Thin the remaining lingonberry puree with water to a saucelike consistency. Reserve.
  11. Unmold the cheesecakes by running the blade of a small knife around the inside of the ramekin; do not cut the flaps. Carefully lift the cake out by the paper flaps. If the cakes have been refrigerated, dip the bottom of the ramekins in hot water first.
  12. Presentation: Place a cheesecake off-center on a dessert plate. Pour a small, round pool of sauce in front of the dessert. Decorate the sauce with the sour cream mixture for piping, making the same spiderweb design used on the cheesecake.

Figure 11-10 The template used to cut baking paper strips to line the forms for Individual Lingonberry-Topped Cheesecakes