Prepare a 22 cm loose-bottomed pie dish. Lightly flour your work surface. Roll out the shortcrust pastry to 2 mm thick and use to line the pie dish.
Refrigerate until firm, and preheat the oven to 200°C. Line the pastry with tin foil to prevent burning and weigh down with baking weights. Bake blind in the 200°C oven for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and leave to cool.
Reduce oven temperatures to 180°C. Separate the eggs. Zest the lemon, and then blanche the zest. Then juice the lemon.
Whisk together the curd cheese, sugar, whole milk, 3 egg yolks, lemon juice and zest, plain flour and cornflour. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form, then delicately fold them into the mixture with a spatula.
Fill the pastry case with the mixture and bake in the oven for 20 minutes. Reduce the heat to 150°C and bake for a further 15 minutes.
Remover from the oven and place the tart, still in the pie dish, on a wire rack to cool for 5 minutes. Remove from the pie dish, and return to the rack to cool completely.
Dust with icing sugar, and serve cold, but never chilled as this will destroy the flavour.
You can also bake this in mini foil cases to make individual mini tarts. Just be sure to adjust the baking time!
Story Behind this Recipe
I'm not big fan of traditional cheesecake as I find it rather heavy, so wondered if I could experiment with my mum's usual recipe to come up with something a bit lighter. Everyone in our house prefers this one now!
If you have a sweet tooth, you could use sweet pastry instead of shortcrust.
I tried substituting whole-milk for low-fat, but this made the filling too liquid and it didn't set properly. I wouldn't use cheese with a fat content of under 50%.