Lindy's Cheesecake - 2 Variations


Cookie Crust
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 large egg yolk
1 stick (1/2 cup) unsalted butter, chilled and cut into 1/4-inch bits
Cheese Filling
1 1/4 pounds softened cream cheese
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1 teaspoon grated orange rind
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 large eggs plus 1 egg yolk
2 tablespoons heavy cream
To make the crust, place the flour, sugar, grated lemon rind, vanilla extract, egg yolk, and butter in a large mixing bowl. With your fingertips, rub the ingredients together until they are well mixed and can be gathered into a ball. Dust with a little flour, wrap in waxed paper, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Place the chilled dough in an ungreased 9-inch spring-form pan. With your hands, pat and spread the dough evenly over the bottom and about 2 inches up the side of the pan. Bake in the center of a preheated 450F (230C) oven for 10 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool to room temperature.
Lower the oven temperature to 200 degrees. To make the filling, place the cream cheese in a large mixing bowl and beat vigorously with a wooden spoon until it is creamy and smooth. Beat in the sugar, a few tablespoons at a time, and, when it is well incorporated, beat in the flour, lemon and orange rinds, vanilla extract, eggs and egg yolk, and heavy cream.
Pour the filling into the cooled cookie crust and bake in the center of the oven for 1 hour. Then remove from the oven and set aside to cool in the pan. Then unmold.
Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 3 hours before serving.
Yield: at least 12 servings

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, 16 servings
1/2 cup sugar
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) cold unsalted butter, cut into 4 pieces.
1 large egg yolk
1 tablespoon water
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
5 8-ounce packages Neufchatel cream cheese, at room temperature
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
Finely grated zest of 1 orange
Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
5 large eggs
2 large egg yolks
1/4 cup heavy cream
3 cups ripe strawberries, rinsed, patted dry, and stems removed
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup water
Pinch of salt
1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
For the pastry, place the sugar and lemon zest in a food processor for 5 seconds. Add the butter, egg yolk, water, and vanilla and pulse until the mixture looks granular and lumpy; the butter should be in about 1/4-inch pieces. Add the flour and pulse rapidly 20 to 30 times, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl, until the mixture almost gathers into a ball. Turn the dough out onto a piece of plastic wrap and press the dough into a 1-inch-thick cake. Wrap and refrigerate for 1 hour.
Adjust an oven rack to the lower third position and preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter a 9-inch springform pan. Detach the sides; set aside.
Cut off slightly less than one half of the dough. Break it into pieces, and scatter them over the springform bottom. Press firmly and evenly with your fingertips to make a thin layer. Set the bottom crust in the oven and bake until pale golden brown, about 8 minutes. Remove from the oven with a wide metal spatula and set on a cooling rack to cool completely. In- crease the oven temperature to 525 degrees.
Shape the remaining pastry into a square. Roll it out on a lightly floured surface to a rectangle slightly larger than 10x6-inches. With a large sharp knife, trim away the edges so that the pastry measures 10x6-inches. Cut the pastry crosswise into five 2-inch strips. Reassemble the springform pan. Line the sides of the pan with 4 of the pastry strips, pressing the pieces firmly together where their edges meet and pressing the pastry firmly against the pan so that it will stay in place. Cut what you need from the last strip to fill in the last gap. Refrigerate while you prepare the filling.
For the filling, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, flour, salt, zests, and vanilla and beat until smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs and yolks one at a time, beating only until thoroughly incorporated, about 15 seconds after each. Beat for another 30 seconds. On low speed, beat in the heavy cream. Scrape the mixture into the pan and smooth the top.
Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200 degrees and bake for 1 hour longer; the top will be golden brown. Cool to room temperature on a rack. Cover loosely and refrigerate for at least 6 hours; overnight is best.
For the strawberry sauce, if the strawberries are small, reserve 1 cup of the prettiest ones. If they are large, slice enough to make 1 cup. Set aside. Place the remaining berries in a medium saucepan and crush with a potato masher. Add the sugar, water, salt, and cornstarch. Stir well with a heat- proof rubber spatula, and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce the heat to low and continue cooking, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes, or until the sauce is slightly thickened. Remove from the heat and add the butter, lemon juice, and reserved berries. Cool to room temperature, then refrigerate until chilled. (The sauce can be made a day ahead.)
To serve, run a small sharp knife around the edges of the cake to release the pastry and carefully remove the sides of the pan. Rinse a knife in hot water, shake off the excess water, and slice. Serve each portion with a spoonful of the strawberry sauce. Refrigerate leftovers.