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Lemon Saffron Cheese Cake with Whole Meal,Pistachio,Cardamom Crust

This is my submission for the fabulous Abby Dodge’s “Bake Together” cheesecake challenge. I recently worked with Amanda from the blog “Dabblings and Whimsey” on some Persian food and that inspired this cheesecake. You find saffron in almost every Persian dish as well as a citrus element. The crust is made from ground roasted pistahio’s, whole meal cookies and cardamom. I used Abby’s cheesecake recipe and tweaked it a bit.To intensify the lemon flavor I candied lemon slices and arranged them on top of the cake. Here is the link to Abby’s blog, this was so much fun, join in and make a cheesecake!

1 1/2 cup whole meal cookies (12-14 cookies) I used Carr’s, ground in the food processor
1/2 cup roasted pistachio’s ground
3 1/2 tbs sugar
1/4 tsp cardamom
6 tbs butter melted.
Roast the pistachio’s on sheet pan in 350 degree oven for approximately 10 minutes. you will smell the nuts. Take them out and let them cool.
When pistachio’s are cool place in food processor and process until nuts are ground into a fine meal. Add the whole meal cookies that have been broken into pieces and process until they are ground into a fine meal. Change oven temp to 375 degrees.
Add pistachio/whole meal crumbs to a mixing bowl. Add the sugar,cardamom and melted butter. Mix thoroughly. Press into the bottom of the prepared 9″ springform pan that has been lined with foil (tear off a large piece of foil there should be a significant overhang) Bake for 12 minutes remove from oven and let cool. Decrease oven temperature to 300 degrees.

Pressed in crust

1 lemon sliced in thin slices
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup sugar
Place water and sugar in small saucepan and bring to a boil, add the lemon slices and boil until the slices are almost translucent and cooked through. Remove from heat let cool and place in covered container.
3 8 oz packages of cream cheese softened to room temp
2 tbs flour
good pinch of salt
1 1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup sour cream
1 tbs lemon juice
1 tbs saffron
zest of one lemon
4 large eggs at room temp
Fresh raspberries to garnish
Put the lemon juice in a ramekin and add the saffron, stir and let sit while you are preparing the other ingredients.

In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, flour and salt until very smooth and no lumps remain. It’s very important for the cream cheese to be lump free at this point so stop and scrape the beater and sides of the bowl frequently. Add the sugar, sour cream and lemon juice infused with the saffron and beat until well blended and smooth, stopping to scrape beater and bowl several times. Add the eggs, one at a time, and beat until just blended, stopping to scrape beater and bowl before each addition. (Don’t over beat the filling once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much.) Tap the bowl several times on the counter to release some of the air bubbles. Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Using the tip of a small knife or a toothpick, pop any air bubbles on the surface.

 Bake at 300°F until the center jiggles like jello when nudged, 63 to 68 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours or overnight or up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen up to 1 month.
When you are ready to serve, arrange the lemon slices on the cake brush top of cake with some of the syrup, dip each raspberry in the lemon simple syrup and arrange on cake.
12 Comments Post a comment
  1. Suzanne, it’s fantastically beautiful!

    February 11, 2012
    • Thank you and honestly really delicious, I wasn’t sure how it would taste. It’s great. Can’t see the cracks!!

      February 11, 2012
  2. Beautiful, lemon “anything” is my favorite, well, in a tie with chocolate!

    February 14, 2012
  3. Lovley and gorgeous cheesecake! All the flavors are so interesting and compliment one another so well. Great job! I added pistachio to my crust too – it’s so good!

    February 16, 2012
    • Thank you so much, pistachio’s are so great in the crust. I have to see your cake.

      February 17, 2012
  4. I’ve spent the last 2 weeks with grandchildren and have been mostly out of touch – so trying to catch up a bit tonight and saw this. It really looks wonderful, Suzanne! Both flavor and texture look just perfect!!

    February 23, 2012
    • I’ve been with the grand kids the last couple of days, winter break. Thanks so much. The flavors are great, I love the saffron and lemon together.

      February 23, 2012
  5. So, so pretty. Love the candied lemon slices and learned something new about the use of saffron in Persian cooking.

    April 2, 2012
    • Thank you so much, yes the candied lemons are delicious and go so well with the saffron. I use saffron all the time in a savory dish but it works equally well in a sweet one also.

      April 2, 2012
  6. petit4chocolatier #

    Delicious! I love the pistachio nuts in the crust! You come up with wonderful creations!

    September 23, 2012
    • Thank you so much. The pistachio’s were wonderful mixed into the whole meal biscuits.

      September 23, 2012

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