(all forks in for a taste)

This past weekend, I had the opportunity to attend a cooking course at the wonderful Istanbul Culinary Institute. The 2-day workshop was entitled, "Intro to Pastry" and it was an informative, inspirational and delicious experience. I wanted to share with you one of my favorite desserts we made -- a bright Lemon Cheesecake.
My feelings on cheesecake are if it isn't completely perfect, it's not worth eating -- too dry, too sweet, too huge, too 'gluey' and pasty on my tongue . . . usually cheesecake falls prey to one of these problems. But when it's right, it's so right! This recipe and result yielded a collective sigh and gastronomic pleasure silence from my classmates and I upon tasting this, the perfect cheesecake. I'm now a convert, believing in cheesecake once more and its power over my palette. I have the best recipe I cannot wait to make again when coming back to Portland, in our future home -- outfitted with an oven. My parents got married with a cheesecake and I was told it was delicious. Perhaps this recipe is one to rival their own celebratory confection, some 38 years ago. Best of all, it's not a fussy indulgence -- easy to make and guaranteed to wow. It's nice because you can make it the day before a gathering, allowing time for relaxation the day-of. Lemon cheesecake is a perfect treat to end an early-Spring meal.

Lemon Cheesecake
serves 10-12
3 c soft cream cheese
1 1/2 c thick (Greek-style, strained) yogurt
2/3 c cream

1 c sugar

1 vanilla bean
6 eggs
zest from one lemon

1/4 c flour

2 c digestive biscuit crumbs (crush about 1/2 of a large packet of cookies to get this amount)

1/4 c almond flour

1/2 c butter

pinch of salt

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Melt the butter and mix together with powdered biscuits, almond flour and salt. Press into a medium-large spring form pan. Bake crust for about 10 minutes, until lightly browned. Remove from oven and let cool.

Meanwhile, mix cream cheese, yogurt, sugar and cream. Add the eggs and to the cream cheese mixture, one at a time, while whisking. Then add flour, vanilla bean and lemon zest. Mix until everything is evenly incorporated. Add the cheese mixture to the cookie shell. Bake for one hour at 325 degrees, until cheesecake is set. Chill for at least 5 hours before serving.


  1. You are so humble to attend an "Intro to Pastries" course. Did I read it right? You should teach it!

  2. More pictures of your husband!