I have to admit – I’ve had this recipe for so long that I can’t remember where it came from – it’s certainly not one that I’ve cooked up. There is confusion as to whether this is a “lemon cheesecake” or a “lemon tart”. The original recipe is labelled as being a “tart”, whilst in reality it’s probably more of a cheese cake.
(If you are the originator of this recipe – and can prove it – please get in touch and I’ll give credit as appropriate (or remove if you want me to)).
Side note – tweaks
This recipe is probably borderline in “tweak” territory. Use of couscous in a cake or as flour is what Slimming World consider as being a “tweak” – i.e. taking a free food and using it in a way not as intended. Slimming World’s advice on such food is to syn these items. Basically they can lead to overconsumption because it’s “free” food when following Slimming World’s food optimising plans.
That said, unless you’re a greedy bugger (like me) – you are likely to be doing this recipe to share – and you can easily get 4 good sized portions, or 6 easily out of this (and if need be and served with lots of fruit or maybe some kind of low syn cream alternative (quark, sweetener, vanilla mixed together or the low fat squirty “fake” cream) – even make it go 8 ways.
However – it’s this “borderline” tweak that results in the fact that I don’t do this recipe very often – special events and taster sessions typically. I do like doing this for taster sessions as I can make it the night before and just leave it in the fridge (one drawback of weighing at 8.30am – I’m not getting up at 4am to slave in the kitchen for a taster for anything that needs to be made “fresh” that morning).
To make this recipe – you will need:
- Couscous – 57g (2oz) of it. (that said – I typically add more as my tin is slightly larger than the one advised) – I used 75g of couscous on this recipe. If you are synning the couscous as Slimming World advises – it’s 4.5syns per 25g – so 13.5syns for this recipe
- Sweetener – 4 tablespoons there of – 2syns total
- Lemon – juice and rind of one lemon
- Quark – 57g (The original recipe also has an option to make it with Philadelphia Light/lightest – and synned accordingly. I’ve only ever done this when you could find the chocolate Philadelphia. It does state that using Quark may make it more grainy in texture but I’ve never found that to be a problem).
- Lemon Cheesecake Muller Light – this is typically a synned product and the syns seem to change each year when they release it (as it’s usually a “limited edition” flavour). I’ve actually yet to make it with the Lemon Cheesecake inspired Muller Light. I just use the vanilla one (or Aldi’s alternative) which is very low syn (typically 1 syns per pot but please check).
- 1 whole egg, and 1 egg yolk – beaten together.
(The original recipe also calls for icing sugar to sprinkle on top – again not something I’ve ever done).
Variations on the theme
Like nearly any recipe – you can vary/tweak it to your tastes. As I say above – I have used the Chocolate Philadelphia that used to be available in the past. I’ve also synned sachets of Options/Highlights and added that to the mix (missing out the Lemon’s obviously). I keep having it in the back of my mind to make it with lime instead of lemon but haven’t yet – primarily as it’s a lot of work to make this if it doesn’t work out.
Cheaper than a portion of chip shop chips.
- Couscous can be brought at Aldi for 59p for 500g, so 6p per 50g used.
- Lemon – Aldi (again) sell theirs at 28p at the moment
- Sweetener is a store cupboard basic and I only typically buy Aldi’s own brand Stevia based sweetener.
- Yogurt – again I used Aldi’s vanilla imitation Muller Light – 30p
- 2 eggs – about 20p depending on type brought (sorry – as much as I wish I could afford to – I can’t justify the extra for “Free Range” eggs – not with the amount of eggs I can go through in a week/fortnight).
- Quark – cheapest currently available is 70p a tub for Waitrose’s own label (on offer from 90p a tub) – I can’t remember if I used that or Aldi’s own for this (75p a tub). These are 250g tubs though – so for this recipe – using just over 50g – 15p worth of quark (if I used the Aldi one).
Total price – just over £1 for the whole cheesecake – for 4 or 6 portions.
This seems a lot of work when making it, and a long bake time, but it’s worth it.
- Pre-heat the oven to 150C / 300F / Gas 3.
- Make the base by soaking the couscous in boiling water for 5 minutes (about 75ml of water if using 56g of couscous, 100ml if using 75g like I did). I will usually cover the dish/tub whilst the couscous is soaking.
- Once all moisture has been absorbed add a tiny bit of lemon juice, and a tiny bit of lemon rind and 1 tablespoon of the sweetener and stir well.
- Spray an 8in flan tin with frylight and press the couscous down into it. I have both a deep tin and a shallower one. I find that the results do differ slightly – and that I get the best result in the deeper on. Cook in the oven for 10minutes. You want the couscous to be dry to the touch at this point, otherwise put it back in for another few minutes.
- Weigh out the Quark (57g) and put in a mixing bowl.
- Add the tub of yogurt and three tablespoons of sweetener to the quark and mix well.
- Mix in the lemon rind and juice.
- Add the egg/egg yolk – and mix very well. You need to make sure that the cheese (or Quark in this instance) is blended in and no lumps remain.
- Pour on-top of the couscous base, and return to the oven. The original recipe states “30minutes or until set” however I often find it takes longer (45minutes or so).
- Once set – turn the oven off and leave in the oven to cool down.
- Once cool, remove from oven, and put in the fridge – for at least 2 hours.
- When ready to serve, remove from tin (you can leave it on the base if you wish). Sprinkle Icing Sugar (if using) on top, and enjoy.