The other day I was watching some Food Network when Iron Chef came on. For those of you who are not familar with Iron Chef, for each compitition there is a secret ingredient, this time it was the magical cucumber. As we are all watching, my Great Aunt, my Mom, and me start brainstorming ideas of what we would do with a cucumber, and of course the first thing that comes to my mind is to make a cucumber cheesecake. So I researched on the internet and found no recipes for a sweet cucumber cheesecake, they are all savory. I decide that I am going to take my favorite, simple cheesecake recipe and change things up a wee bit like I usually do. 🙂 So some flavors that I think go really well with cucumber are mint and lemon, so I decided on a Cucumber-Mint-Lemon Cheesecake, with a gram cracker-lemon crust. And let me tell you it was really great!!
1-2 packages Honey gram crackers
1/3 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon lemon extract
1/3 of a stick of butter melted (or however much it takes to make the crust stick together, but not too much that it makes the crust soupy)
1 English Cucumber, peeled
1 handful mint leaves
1/4 cup milk
3 packages cream cheese (room temp)
1 cup sugar
2 Tablespoons flour
1 teaspoon lemon extract
3 eggs (room temp)
I started with the crust – the best part – which has about 2 packages of honey gram crackers, 1/3 cup sugar, and about 1/2 teaspoon lemon extract. and then add in about a 1/3 of a stick of unsalted butter.
Then to make the filling: peel 1 English Cucumber – you want to chop it so that it will pierre a little easier – to this add the 1/4 cup milk to also aid the pierre-ing and some fresh mint leaves. Then add 3 packages of cream cheese, 1 cup sugar, 2 Tablespoons flour, 1 teaspoon lemon extract, 1 juiced lemon, and some lemon zest, and mix away.
After that has been mixed, add 3 eggs, and mix them in slightly. Add to the crust.
Now here comes the tricky part, to make sure that it stays moist in the oven, I like to take a pot that is just a little bit smaller than my spring form pan and fill it 3/4 of the way with water- temp doesn’t matter – then use the second from the bottom rack, put the pot on the rack, and then the cheesecake on the pot. Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes, or until the middle jiggles a little bit but the rest of the cheesecake is firm. When this happens turn the oven off, but keep the cheesecake and the pot in the oven for 45-60 minutes – this will help the center of the cheesecake firm up, but not over cook the rest of the cheesecake. Then let the cheesecake cool on the counter for about 15 minutes, remove the spring form pan and place it covered in the refrigerator either overnight of about 4 hours.
If you are running short on time, what I do after the 45 minute baking, is turn the oven off and let it sit for about 40 minutes, then I open the oven slightly so that the cheesecake can cool off for another 15, and then when you take it out of the oven you can remove the sides of the pan, and place it covered right into the freezer, and it should be perfect to eat in about an hour or so. This way you can make before dinner, then as it is cooling you can make dinner, and eat dinner and then it is ready for you to eat!
Before taste testing the filling, my mom added some peppermint extract, and that made it supper minty, so if you would like something with more mint, I can suggest adding about 3 drops of peppermint extract to the mix. 🙂