I often serve these for teatime. They started out as regular lemon bars. Then I thought, why not add cream cheese. Cream cheese is good in everything! So now they are lemon cheesecake bars. Our guest Joanne liked them and asked for the recipe. So here it is –
Leith Lemon Cheesecake Bars
Start with a 13″x 9″ pan. I line all baking pans with parchment paper and spray them with Pam to make turning them out easier. Melt 2 sticks of butter. Mix 2 cups of flour together with 1/2 cup of white sugar. Pour the melted butter on top of the flour mixture. Mix and cut the mixture with a rubber spatula and toss the crumbs into the baking pan. Press the dough into an even layer and bake for 10 minutes. Take out and let cool.
In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl several times. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, making sure that the mixture is smooth before adding the next egg. Add the lemon juice and grated zest. Beat. Add the 1 1/2 cups sugar and 1/4 cup flour. Beat ’till smooth. Pour onto the crust and bake for about 23 minutes until the edges have a tiny bit of golden color and the filling is close to set. It will stiffen more as it cools.
Cool, then refrigerate for a few hours. I sprinkle it with powdered sugar when cold, then flip it onto a plastic cutting board, then flip back onto a serving dish. To cut into squares, keep a glass of water nearby and dip your knife into water between each cut. This will make the cuts clean and smooth. Or, even better, come stay at Leith Hall and let me make them for you.