Today is my birthday and I’m celebrating with this Clementine Mascarpone Cheesecake. I love baking for other people’s birthdays (see The Boyfriend’s birthday treats), but I especially enjoy baking for mine because I love sharing dessert with my friends and family.
Today’s post is dedicated to cheesecake because I have a special place in my heart that only cheesecake can fill. Plus, they’re so much fun to share! You get to play that “just-a-small-slice” game with some, while others (like me), go all in with slices as big as their faces. This game always makes me laugh because I’ve met very few people in my life who can resist a good cheesecake. However, regular cheesecakes are way too heavy for summer. That’s where the mascarpone cheesecake comes in! Mascarpone cheesecakes make for great summer desserts because they’re light and airy and they are the perfect canvas for featuring, bright seasonal ingredients like clementines.
I love citrus desserts because they rarely suffer from being overly sweet and they usually have beautiful color. When I was testing this recipe, I considered simply incorporating all of the clementine flavor with the cheesecake but I didn’t want to lose the beautiful orange colors. The clementine gelee not only carries the orange color, it also enhances the flavor and texture of this cheesecake. The gelee doesn’t firm up like JELLO but instead has a looser consistency that doesn’t compete with the texture of the Clementine Mascarpone Cheesecake.
If you have a little bit of time to plan a summer dinner party, you should definitely add this recipe to your menu. Like all cheesecakes, you need to set aside time for baking, cooling, and setting, but this recipe is actually very straight forward. The clementine gelee sounds a bit intimidating but fear not! The gelee just needs to be mixed and then refrigerated to set. See? I told you this was easy. If you want to really step up your cheesecake, you can garnish it with fresh mint leaves. The mint not only adds some extra color, but the mint mixes well with the flavors in the cheesecake. So are you ready to make this cheesecake or what?
Yields 1 9-inch cake, 8-9 people
25 minPrep Time
1 hr, 20 Cook Time
1 hr, 45 Total Time
- 1 2/3 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs
- 3 tablespoons Granulated Sugar
- 1/2 cup Unsalted Butter, melted
- 2 (8-ounce) packages Cream Cheese, room temperature
- 2 (8-ounce) containers Mascarpone, room temperature
- 1 1/4 cups Granulated Sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh Lemon Juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 4 large Eggs, room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups Clementine juice
- 1/3 cup Granulated Sugar
- 1 1/4 teaspoon Knox unflavored gelatin powder
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with 3 layers of heavy-duty foil.
- Finely grind the cracker crumbs and sugar in a food processor.
- Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (not on the sides of the pan).
- Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool.
- Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
- Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula.
- Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
- Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan.
- Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold).
- Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour.
- Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
- In a small bowl, sprinkle the gelatin over 1/2 cup of the clementine juice. Set aside for 5 minutes.
- Add the remaining 1 cup juice and the sugar to a saucepan. Bring to a low boil just to dissolve the sugar and remove from heat.
- Add gelatin mixture to the heated juice mixture and stir to dissolve. Allow to cool at room temperature (about 30 minutes)
- Pour over the cheesecake and level. Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or until set.
Clearly my favorite birthday tradition is stuffing my face with dessert…kind of like this little champ. What’s yours? Leave a comment below!