Yes, you read that headline right, Lemon Cheesecake Challah. Seriously. We could probably just stop there. But why? Here’s the story…. This weekend is the holiday of Shavuot. This holiday, I lovingly refer to as the “stay up all night and eat cheesecake holiday.” What’s not to love about that. The holiday commemorates (in part) the receiving of the Torah at Mt. Sinai. We stay up all night in anticipation of receiving the Torah (fun!). And because G-d gave us the commandment to keep kosher in the Torah, all of our prior meat and dishes were suddenly rendered problematic, and we ate dairy until we could kasher things. This, among many other reasons, is why we eat dairy on Shavuot. Of course, I don’t eat meat at all, so most of my festive meals feature dairy in some sort.
I found the recipe for lemon cheesecake challah on Smitten Kitchen. I used my regular challah dough because it is proven, but I followed their recipe for the cheesecake filling and the lemon curd. Lemon curd may become my new favorite thing to make. If I’d known you could make something THAT delicious THAT easily, I would have made it before.
Now, technically, for motzi on shabbat, challah needs to be parve (neither meaty or dairy). So when I make dairy challah, I always make a loaf of “plain” as my second loaf, so that motzi can be over parve challah for the halachically minded among us.
Now, on to the challah…Using my regular dough, I rolled out a large rectangular shape.
Then cut slits into the sides:
I layered on the cheesecake filling, then the lemon curd:
Then “braided” it:
I brushed it with egg and sprinkled it with some nice, organic, coarse sugar.
Then baked it.
This is a beautiful and delicious recipe. Happy Shavuot everyone!