Lemon cheesecakes


  • 2 large lemons
  • 110g white sugar
  • 6 egg yolks (keep whites for another use)
  • 225g unsalted butter
  • 425g fresh ricotta cheese (or other light curd cheese)
  • 490g frozen puff pastry (thawed)


The original recipe that inspired these cheesecakes is from The art of cookery made plain and easy by Hannah Glasse (1796). Contemporary author Kim Wilson modernised the ingredients and measurements, and included the recipe in her delightful book Tea with Jane Austen (Frances Lincoln Publishers, 2011). Apparently these were a favourite treat of Jane Austen's niece and nephew, Fanny and Edward. But be warned, they veritably ooze with butter!

Makes about 24 muffin-sized cheesecakes, or 48 mini muffin-sized, as served for afternoon tea. If using smaller muffin tins, baking times will be reduced.


Preheat oven to 180 °C.
Peel the lemons, then cut the peel into small chunks. Boil gently, in enough water to cover the peel sufficiently without boiling it dry, for about 45 minutes or until very tender (use a non-reactive pan such as stainless steel). Drain.
In a food processor, process the lemon peel and sugar until finely ground. Add the egg yolks, butter and ricotta, and process until well blended.
Cut the pastry into circles big enough to line the bottom and sides of the muffin holes, and press into the tins.
Spoon the cheese mixture into the pastry shells, filling each three-quarters full.
Bake for approximately 30–40 minutes, or until the cheesecakes are puffed and golden, and a knife inserted into the centre comes out clean. Chill before serving.

This recipe appeared in the post “More twanky, Vicar?” Tea in the Regency on April 04, 2013.

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