Mini Mascarpone Cheesecakes with Lemon Curd. These little cheesecakes are creamy, sweet and topped with a hint of tang from delicious homemade lemon curd.
Have you ever tried making a cheesecake with mascarpone cheese? It’s a definite must. Mascarpone cheese is Italian cream cheese that can be used in both sweet and savory dishes, just like American cream cheese. Instead of being made with whole milk, like American cream cheese, Mascarpone cheese is made with cream. This, of course, makes it very rich, creamy and perfect for a cheesecake.
These Mini Mascarpone Cheesecakes with Lemon Curd are very decadent, so I like making them in this mini version using a muffin tin. They are the perfect portion, and then topped off with the homemade lemon curd, they are irresistible. I know, making a cheesecake is scary. Then to make your own lemon curd on top of that, forget it! I promise though, it’s not so scary, if you follow a few simple steps.
How to Make Mascarpone Mini Cheesecakes
- First and MOST importantly, get your cheeses and eggs to room temperature. This will ensure that they blend well together when you mix them, so you don’t get lumpy cheesecake! You can take them out of the fridge beforehand, but if you forget, at least soften the cheeses in the microwave for a bit.
- CRUST – Mix together graham cracker crumbs, almonds, melted butter, and salt. Then, divide this mixture up into the prepared muffin cups and bake. Let them cool completely while you make the filling.
- FILLING – Cream together cheeses to make sure there are no lumps and then mix in sugar, lemon juice & vanilla. Once the cheeses are mixed, add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing after each addition.
- Lastly, pour the cheesecake filling into the cooled crust cups and bake again. Keep an eye on them and take them out when they are just a little bit wiggly in the center. Let them cool completely before adding the topping.
See, it’s not that bad, right? Now onto the lemon curd! I don’t have my own recipe for lemon curd, but use a tried and true recipe adapted from the queen herself, Ina Garten. It’s quick, easy and tastes delicious every time. If you aren’t a fan of lemon curd, or just want to try something else, feel free to top these little sweeties with whatever you like! You can make or purchase all sorts of toppings.
Cheesecake Topping Alternatives
- Fresh berries
- Prepared pie filling
- Chocolate chips
- Whipped cream
Mini Mascarpone Cheesecakes with Lemon Curd
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs, approximately 7-8 crackers
- ½ cup sliced almonds
- 3 Tablespoons melted butter
- pinch kosher salt
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese, room temperature
- 8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 2 large eggs
- 2 whole lemons
- ¾ cup granulated sugar
- 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature
- 2 large eggs
- ¼ cup lemon juice, approximately 1-2 lemons
- pinch kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 350° and line a muffin tin with 12 paper muffin liners.
- In a food processor, combine graham cracker crumbs, sliced almonds, melted butter, and salt. Pulse until almonds are chopped finely and the mixture is well combined.
- Evenly divide the crust mixture into each muffin cup and gently press the mixture into the bottom of the cup so it is even and forms the crust.
- Bake crust in preheated oven for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. Allow crusts to cool completely before adding the filling.
- In a mixing bowl, cream together mascarpone cheese and cream cheese with a hand mixer until well combined.
- Next, add in sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla and mix thoroughly. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after adding each egg.
- Divide filling evenly into cooled crust cups and bake at 350° for 15-20 minutes. The cheesecakes are done when the middle is just slightly jiggly.
- Allow cheesecakes to cool completely before topping with lemon curd.
- Zest two lemons and add the zest to a food processor with granulated sugar. Pulse until zest is very finely minced with the sugar.
- In a medium-sized bowl, cream together butter and lemon zest/sugar mixture with a hand mixer. Add in eggs, one at a time, mixing thoroughly after each addition. Lastly, add in lemon juice and salt and mix until well combined.
- Pour mixture into a saucepan and heat over low heat until thickened, stirring constantly. This will take about 10-15 minutes. The curd should thicken at about 170° or just below simmering. Remove from the heat and cool completely before putting on top of cheesecakes.
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Need more cheesecake in your life? Yeah, me too. Luckily, I have a few other recipes for you. Check them out below!