Monday, July 21, 2014

Lemon Mascarpone Torte: Sometimes you really just need it to be easy

My readers will notice I did not post much in June.  That's because June turned out to be the craziest month of all time for me with a teaching schedule that went completely haywire, with multiple school districts with different calendars letting their students out at varying times, which affects me because suddenly half of my students want morning lessons.  Add to that summer students, my kids STILL in school, and church VBS and my stress levels go through the roof.  There were many moments when I felt like the world was reeling around me so quickly that I couldn't keep anything in place and intact.

All the while all of this craziness was going on, I still kept on riding my bike as much as possible.  It's a way for me to keep my stress levels under control because on my bike, you just can't help but smile.  I can't help but smile.  I wear the goofiest helmet of all time and it makes me happy and it makes me laugh.  (Should you want to emulate my incredible fashion sense, buy it here.)

Every once in a while, one of my friends will look at me as we are in the middle of an intense conversation and say something like, "I can't take you seriously when your head looks like a watermelon."  Then I'll take it off.  But while I'm on my bike, moving around my neighborhood, back and forth between school and home, my helmet stays on my head.

Unfortunately I can't do Costco shopping on my bike, so I usually run home, leave my bike and then hop into the car.  During my most intense time in June, I discovered I need something at Costco, so as it is my habit, I dumped my bike and excess equipment at school and went  to Costco.  I parked, flashed my membership card, and with my mind on figuring out and calculating how quickly I could finish what I need to do at Costco, I barely noticed the people giving me funny looks. As I ran towards the fruit section, I happened to pass a mirror section, which I quickly moved past, when I caught a flash of green on my head in the reflection.

Green as in my watermelon helmet.  Green as in the watermelon helmet that I DROVE to Costco with, got out of the car with, and ran around half of Costco with.  I sheepishly began laughing at myself, removed the helmet and shook my head at my own nuttiness.  Was I that intensely insane that I couldn't remember to take off a helmet?  Evidently yes.  My life had reached a fever pitch that made things so crazy that a watermelon helmet in the middle of Costco could completely happen.

I'm always grateful for the month of July because life slows down for me.  No more lunches to pack, students flit in and out of my life on vacation and then back off vacation, and a general slowing of the mayhem that is motherhood.  And during the slowdown I find myself feeling lazy and wanting simply to do less and do things simply.  It also gets warmer so it's less compelling to be in the kitchen.  I decided to go ahead and try and do a no bake cheesecake recipe, drawing inspiration from a bunch of different sources, but mostly this one.   
The result?  Summer easy yummy fun.  The main commitment is time to chill and set it, which clocks in at around 8 hours, or overnight (or up to 3 days ahead of time) but the end result is totally worth it, and it's easy!  No ovens to turn on and nothing complicated to do except layer, and you can probably even do it with a bike helmet on, should you feel so compelled. 

Lemon Mascarpone Torte
Serves 5 to 6

Ingredients
2 cups (16 oz mascarpone cheese)
⅔  cup heavy cream
⅔  cup prepared lemon curd
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
Kosher salt
About 15 whole graham crackers
Blueberries, for serving

Method
Line a 8-by-4-inch loaf pan with plastic wrap, allowing 4 inches of overhang.

In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the mascarpone with the heavy cream at medium speed until smooth and just firm; do not overbeat. Fold in the lemon curd, lemon zest and a pinch of salt.

Spread a 1/4-inch-thick layer of the lemon cream on the bottom of the pan.  (I used a broken off piece of graham cracker to do this - YUM!)  Arrange a single layer of graham crackers on top, breaking them to fit.  For a prettier edge, break the crackers a little bit short of the edge so that the outside will be cream and not a layer of graham, essentially leaving a border around the edge of your pan.   Repeat the layering with the remaining lemon cream and crackers, finishing with a final layer of cream.

Cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 8 hours or overnight.
Uncover and invert the cheesecake onto a platter. Remove the plastic wrap. Serve with blueberries.

Printable recipe

Cutting into yumminess.

9 comments:

Margo said...

seriously, that is the best helmet! I have contemplated getting groceries with my bike because I also really love to ride. We have an old child trailer that I could hook up . . . but I usually just drive.

Sandy said...

I laughed out loud when I read that you wrote that you drove to Costco wearing your helmet. Thank you. :)

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