Clean-out-the-Fridge Lemon Curd Cheesecake Tart!

Lemon Curd Cheesecake Tart | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Today I was inspired to clean out my refrigerator and freezer. Partly because I was procrastinating like crazy. I just couldn’t force myself to sit at the computer all day and work on the new book. The January deadline is getting bigger and more menacing, and yet today I just couldn’t do it. I really did need to clean out the fridge to make room for more buckets of dough and for the hundreds of mini Devil’s Food Cupcakes I have to make for the Children’s Heartlink Gala this Friday. **

While I was dutifully cleaning I came upon all kinds of odds and ends that alone didn’t seem worth saving, but put together they might just turn into something tasty and unforeseen. I recalled a post that Aran at Cannelle et Vanille did using bits and pieces from one dessert to create something gorgeous and brand new the following week. I had a bit of cheesecake batter, a touch of lemon curd and some tart dough, together I ended up with an absolutely lovely tart. I’m just incapable of throwing anything out, unless it has turned to the dark side.  I hope this tart will be inspiration to all of you who hoard small packets of dough and little containers of custard. They can be made into something quite beautiful if you are in a creative mood!

Here is how I put it all together:

1 packet of tart dough (the recipe and directions for getting it into the tart pan)

3 cups chai cheesecake batter

1/2 cup lemon curd

Preheat oven to 350°

Baking Tart Shell with Beans | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

First you need to blind bake the tart shell. I line the chilled tart shell with foil and fill it with beans and pie weights and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the dough is no longer wet looking.

Baked Tart Shell | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Remove the foil and continue baking for another 5 minutes until the tart shell is golden brown.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake Tart Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Drop the oven temperature to 300°. Fill the baked tart shell with the cheesecake batter and bake for about 25 minutes. My cheesecake batter was chilled, if yours is at room temperature you may want to check it at 20 minutes.

The cheesecake will puff up slightly but should not souffle. It will wiggle like jello. If you over bake it there is more of a chance it will crack.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake Tart Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Allow the cheesecake to cool for about 15-20 minutes and then spread the lemon curd on top.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake Tart Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Bake for another 5 minutes to set the curd. Remove from oven and allow to cool at room temperature until you can comfortable pick it up. Refrigerate the tart for at least an hour before slicing.

Lemon Curd Cheesecake Tart Recipe | ZoëBakes | Photo by Zoë François

Serve with creme fraiche and perhaps a cup of tea. My kids came home from school and ate nearly the entire thing. I have one piece saved for tomorrow when I will be hand cuffed to this computer working on the manuscript!


Last weekend I went to my first Opera. Wow, now that is an over-the-top art form. Fabulous! I had donated a baking class/book package to the MN Opera’s silent auction. I will be going to the winning bidders home to bake with them and 6 friends from my book Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day. I can’t wait and I thank them for their support for the book and the Opera!

It has been so much fun learning more about some of you through Twitter. The communication is brief, but how nice to have a glimpse at what others are working on in their kitchens and beyond. Thanks for joining me and I look forward to seeing more of you! Join me at Twitter.

My next post will be an absolutely fantastic apple cake from Robin Asbell’s book The New Whole Grain Cookbook and I’ll be giving away a signed copy of her book!

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22 thoughts to “Clean-out-the-Fridge Lemon Curd Cheesecake Tart!”

  1. Isn’t opera incredible in a live setting? I saw The Marriage of Figaro in NYC in college, and it was the experience of a lifetime!

    Your lemon cheesecake tart looks so gorgeous and delicious! Way to clean out that fridge, lady! 🙂

  2. You’re right, twitting is fun! And I remember when you first mentioned this cheesecake I was curious right away. It looks great! Amazing what leftover and imagination can do! I love that the cheesecake batter is chai, that must have been really awesome with the lemon curd!

  3. Oh, deadlines are coming up soon! The mention of a new book makes me excited 🙂 Hopefully you get through a lot of it before the holidays so you aren’t stressed throughout the holidays…

  4. Still haven’t managed to get my husband to the opera, so I haven’t been in years. But Puccini when I’m cleaning house is a favorite! The tart is lovely — especially because you used odds and ends. I have cream cheese in the drawer, and some left over lemon curd as well…will check out the Chai aspect of this. Mmmm…love cheesecake.

  5. Hi Kellypea and Susan,

    I went to Il Trovatore with my co-author Jeff, because my husband won’t go either. It was amazing and like nothing I’ve ever experienced.

    What do you recommend for my next opera?


  6. Oh, I wish I had some extra cheesecake batter around here! 🙂 I LOOVE lemon in desserts (unfortunately my brother doesn’t, so I’m doomed to finish whole cakes, heh). This looks like the ultimate decadence!

  7. This looks absolutely divine! I still can’t believe you made 800 mini cupcakes, you’re a baking super hero or something – you should have your own comic book. 😉

    Tangentially, all of the photos on the main page are gorgeous!

  8. help- i am making it right now for my husband’s birthday tonight. everything is going fine except I have about 2 cups of the chai cheesecake batter left over- I couldn’t fit anymore into the tart shell. How long can I save it? Can I freeze it?

  9. Hi Katherine,

    You can either save the batter or bake it in small cups and save it baked. Either way it will last for about 5-7 days. I’ve never frozen the batter, but it might just work?

    Enjoy and Happy Birthday to your husband!


  10. We were recently at Zingerman’s in Ann Arbor where I told my 12 year-old daughter she could get anything she wanted (she was a real trooper waiting over 2 hours for her parents to finish an appointment at the University’s melanoma clinic). Her eyes widened and she repeated, “Anything?!” “Yes, anything,” I replied, matching her wide-eyed expression. When she joined me at the checkout counter, I expected to see as much chocolate as her arms could hold (especially bags of their utterly fabulous brownies); instead she showed up with a single jar of lemon curd.

    I was so proud.

  11. Hi Elizabeth,

    Oh, this is a sure sign of good things to come and proof of your great parenting! 😉

    She has fabulous taste!



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