It’s been a brutally cold and very snowy winter so far. On days when the weather’s too unpleasant to venture out for long, I love to curl up on the couch with a hot drink and a stack of inspiring cookbooks. Aimée Wimbush-Bourque’s book Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites is one of my new favorites.

In addition to being a friend of mine, Aimée is a very talented cook and writer and an urban homesteading aficianado. She is the editor of Simple Bites, a family-oriented whole foods blog, and she lives in Canada with her husband and 3 young kids. Brown Eggs and Jam Jars is her first cookbook and it’s really a gem: the seasonally-arranged recipes are at both imaginative and comforting, the photos are vibrant and inviting, and the writing is warm and engaging. So far I’ve made the Toasted Oat and Cocoa Smoothies, the Mexican Hot Cocoa, and the Citrus Cheesecake you see here: they’ve all been wonderful.

Now let’s talk about this cheesecake :)


Cheesecake is something I love but I don’t make it often. In fact, I cannot recall the last time I made one. But my mom and stepdad were coming to visit last weekend and I figured it would be nice to have this in the refrigerator to nibble on while they were here. It was!

Aimée’s headnote for this recipe states that she makes it for all manner of events- from baby showers to birthdays- and honestly, it’s so good that I may do the same in the future. Aimée suggests varying the toppings depending on the season and she shares some great ideas for whole fruits, jams, and syrups to use as accompaniments in the book. I had some Cara Cara oranges on hand so I decided to decorate the cheesecake with those.

Aimée recommends making the cheesecake the day before you want to serve it as it benefits from an overnight chill. This cheesecake will keep for about 4 days if you wrap it well. Be sure to store it in the refrigerator.

Recipe for Citrus Cheesecake

Yield: 8-12 servings

Aimee's recipe says to bake the cheesecake in a 9-inch springform, but I used an 8-inch one. This meant the cheesecake took longer to bake, and it was quite tall.

Ingredients:

For the crust:
*1 1/4 cups (300 mL) graham cracker crumbs
*2 tablespoons (30 mL) raw cane sugar
*1/4 cup (60 mL) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:
*3 packages (8 ounces/250 g each) cream cheese, at room temperature
*3/4 cup (175 mL) raw cane sugar
*1/3 cup (75 mL) sour cream
*Zest and juice of one lemon, scrubbed
*Zest and juice of one orange, scrubbed
*5 large eggs, room temperature

For the topping:
*1 1/2 cups (375 mL) sour cream
*1/4 cup (60 mL) raw cane sugar
*1 lemon, scrubbed

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C).

2. Make the crust:
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and mix with a spatula until butter is evenly distributed. Dump into a nine-inch spring-form pan. Shake the pan to distribute the damp crumbs evenly, and then pack down well. Bake crust for 8 to 10 minutes until slightly golden. Cool.

3. For the filling:
In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream, citrus zest and citrus juice. Mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, combining after each addition, but not too vigorously. Pour filling over crumb crust.

4. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes. The cheesecake will have puffed significantly and the middle will still be slightly jiggly. Cool on a rack for 15 minutes. The cake will sink as it cools.

5. Make the topping:
Combine sour cream and sugar together in a small bowl. Zest the lemon into the bowl. Add 2 tablespoons (30 mL) lemon juice. Stir well.

6. Pour lemon topping over the warm cheesecake and let stand for half an hour at room temperature. Cover cheesecake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours or overnight.

7. Run a knife around the edge of the pan and lift off the sides of the pan. If desired, slip a sharp knife under the crust and slide the cheesecake off the base and onto a cake stand or serving platter. Garnish cheesecake with sliced clementines (I used Cara Cara orange slices), pomegranate seeds, a spoonful of blueberry butter or preserved peaches.

Recipe shared with permission from Brown Eggs and Jam Jars: Family Recipes from the Kitchen of Simple Bites by Aimee Wimbush-Bourque.

Aimée’s publisher has generously agreed to send a copy of Brown Eggs and Jam Jars to one of my readers. For a chance to win a copy of the book, please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below. The giveaway will be open through Wednesday February 18, 2015 at 12:00 am and is open to readers in the US only. Thanks and good luck!

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