November 30, 2010

Tres Bon Brulee!

The Maine House is planning our holiday menus! Family will be arriving for the Christmas Holidays and already, they have requested two of Estelle's classics...Lemon Bars and Creme Brulee!
So, we thought......What would happen when you mix Lemon Bars with Creme Brulee? The best and most elegant dessert ever is born! This is a buttery rich shortbread crust which is then covered with a lemony and zesty filling...topped with a crunchy caramelized glaze. This is a keeper. I can't say enough about this recipe! 

Lemon Bar Brulee
1 cup all purpose flour
1/4 c. white sugar
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/4-1/2 c. chopped pecans (depending on how much you like)

8 oz. cream cheese
1/3 c. white sugar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1/2 c. heavy whipping cream, whipped

Lemon Layer
1 jar 11 oz. lemon curd

Brulee Topping
1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

Fresh Raspberry Sauce
12 oz. frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed
1/3 cup sugar (more as needed)
1 cup water
1 1/2 tbsp cornstarch

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
For the crust: In a medium bowl, stir together all purpose flour and sugar. Cut in butter until the mixture is crumbly. Press firmly into the bottom of a 9 x 9 baking pan. Bake for 15 minutes in the preheated oven, until firm and slightly golden. Set aside to cool.
In a bowl, beat cream cheese, sugar and lemon juice. Whip cream, and fold into cream cheese mixture. Spread in pan over shortbread crust. Place in refrigerator until chilled throughout, approx. 30 minutes.
After cheesecake is set, top with lemon curd and smooth surface. (The lemon curd is an extremely thin layer but don't worry it has tons of flavor) Put back in refrigerator until ready to serve.
You can either use a brulee torch for the topping or follow these directions.
Preheat broiler. Press brown sugar through strainer over lemon curd to cover completely and evenly( I have found the more even you get it the better. It also helps to really pack it down with your hands so it is smooth. If you have any chunks sticking up they will burn)Watching closely, broil 4 to 6 inches from heat source until sugar bubbles and caramelizes, about 2 minutes.

For the raspberry sauce: Puree raspberries in blender with water until smooth. Strain into small saucepan, pressing puree through mesh. Whisk sugar and cornstarch into sauce. Cook all ingredients together over medium high heat until thickened and clear.
Remove from heat and add more sugar if necessary and set aside to cool slightly before serving. Cover and chill until ready to use.
Serve at room temperature with a drizzle of raspberry sauce on plate and a side of sweetened whipped cream.

"The best of all gifts around any Christmas tree:
the presence of a happy family
all wrapped up in each other". ~Burton Hillis

1 comment:

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