My sweet friend Prerna is here at eCurry today. Prerna needs to introduction. The vibrant chirpy and the talented lady is the author of beautiful Indian Simmer.
My time at home seems to be flying by so quick that I am unable to keep track of the days. The few weeks in my home went by before I knew it and soon it will be time for us to fly back and start the “real” life again. For now I will try not to think of that. We are spending time with A’s family now and it is delightful too have my girls meet and connect with their cousins. For them, it is quite a different life here, where “freedom rules’ right now – a lot of love and pampering. School and activities and chores have been forgotten and they are existing is a blissful world – so well deserved after so many years.
I have to thank Prerna big time for this guest post. She took time out of her inexplicably insane schedule between return from her vacation to India and then a big move and various other engagements to do this gorgeous guest post for me. Indian Simmer is a friendly, delightful blog, and let me warn you that you will spend a good many hours once you step in there. Prerna’s photography is gorgeous beyond words, and she presents not just traditional Indian recipes, but many other delicacies. She is also a mom to a toddler princess and being a mom to two girls, I know it is no easy job to chasing the wisp and the whim of an active toddler. But she does it and she does a fabulous work on Indian Simmer too. Visit her if you haven’t yet and see it for yourself. I will now step aside and allow Prerna to share her recipe and her photographs with you today!
Like every day I was quickly checking my emails with a cup of hot cardamom chai after putting my little one in bed for a nap when I read this email from Soma. She told me about how she was planning to visit family and home in India after years. This trip was even more exciting for her since this was going to be her little girl’s first trip ever. I was thrilled to know how stoked she was about the whole trip but part of the email I was more thrilled about was a request for guest post. Soma asked if I would be able to cook something for her wonderful readers while she’s away with her family and closer to home. Well my answer was, “hell yeah”!
Soma and I go a long way back. She was one of the first few bloggers I met and I can still call friends when I was starting myself as a food blogger. I would storm her with long emails and endless number of questions and she would always reply immediately with even longer emails. She is one of the kindest people and best mom I have ever met. So when she asked me to do a guest post for her the first thought that came to my mind was her two daughters. It is tough to cook something for a blog which has all the recipes in the world and the best cook cooking them anyway. So biting my nails and keeping the fingers crossed I asked her if her daughters like a Lemon Cheesecake Bars. And she said yes! I took a sigh of relief and made some for you.
What I love about these bars (well, apart from its luscious and rich taste!) is the magic behind it. You start with a layer of cheese filling over the crust followed by a layer of lemon filling. But once you bake it in the oven the light cream cheese layer would puff up and walk all the way up sandwiching the lemon layer between itself and the crust. So when you bite into it you will start with a smooth cheesecake and all of a sudden will be surprised with a bursting tangy flavor of lemon and slightly savory crust brings it
I first got this recipe from one of my friends a while back after tasting them at her place. Loved the combination of tangy lemony flavor and rich and creamy cheese layer that I decided that I had to try it. I did! Not once not twice but several times that I have even lost count of it and they would never come out perfectly firm like hers. So if you fail to achieve that perfection in the first help then do not get disappointed. All those failures are so worth it when you finally get to eat those perfect looking AND tasting Lemon Cheesecake Bars. Sharing with you the measurements and recipe that worked for me.
Lemon Cheesecake Bars
For the Crust: (using a 9x9x2 inch pan)
- 1 ¾ cups of graham cracker crumbs
- 4 tbsp butter
For the lemon filling:
- 4 large eggs
- 1 ½ cups sugar
- ½ cup lemon juice
- 2 tbsp flour
- 1 tbsp lemon zest (I add a little more because I like how it feels in the mouth)
For the Cream Cheese filling:
- 8 oz cream cheese (softened)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 egg
- ½ teaspoon vanilla
Preheat the oven to 350 deg. F.
In a bowl combine all the ingredients for the crust. Press into the baking dish and bake for barely 3-4
For lemon filling:
Whisk all the ingredients together in a mixing bowl on medium speed until its light and pale yellow in color.
For the Cream Cheese filling:
Beat room temperature softened cream cheese and sugar together in a mixing bowl on medium speed until its smooth. Add rest of the ingredients and mix it all well together until it becomes light. Set it aside.
Pour the cream cheese filling over warm crust followed by the lemon filling layer.
Bake it in the oven for 35-40 minutes. It took me more than that so try to keep an eye after the 40 minute mark. Bake until the middle lemon layer is not jiggly anymore.
Cool completely before cutting into it. Enjoy!