We love lemons and find that most people love something lemon as an alternative to chocolate. This cheesecake is heaven on a plate! The lemon curd that runs throughout the cheesecake is just enough sweet-tart to balance out the very light and fluffy cheesecake. We originally tried this with a shortbread crust but really prefer the old-fashioned graham cracker crust.
The real treat is the layer of lemon curd on the top and the those candied lemons that we have talked about before. This creation had to go to work so that we wouldn’t eat it all ourselves. Needless to say, we had an empty container within the hour. We’ve included the recipe for you to enjoy.
LEMON CHEESECAKE WITH CANDIED LEMONS
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter, melted
1/3 cup sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Grease a 10-inch springform pan or regular 10-inch cake mold with a pat of butter. Place 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs in a bowl. Stir the sugar into the graham cracker crumbs and blend well. Stir in the melted butter, mix well. Pat the crumb mixture into the springform pan including the sides of the pan.
4 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese –room temperature (2 regular, 2 low fat)
1 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs-room temperature
2 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
2 cups lemon curd (see recipe below or you can use store bought)
Beat cream cheese at medium speed until light and creamy. Gradually add the sugar, beating until blended. Add the eggs one at time. Beating until the yellow disappears. Beat in vanilla.
Pour two thirds of the batter into the prepared pan. Dollop 1 cup of the lemon curd over the batter. Use a knife to gently swirl the curd through out the batter. Spoon the remaining cheesecake batter over the curd.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour to 1 hour and 10 minutes, until the center is set. Turn oven off and let the cheesecake stay in the oven for 15 min. Remove from oven and let cool on a wire rack for about an hour. Cover and chill for 8 to 24 hours.
Remove sides of the pan if you used a springform pan. Spoon remaining lemon curd over the top of the cake and garnish with Candied Lemon Slices.
4 large lemons –washed and dried (can use Meyer Lemons if you have them)
10 large egg yolks-room temperature
1 cup sugar
8 TBS unsalted butter cut into ½ inch cubes at room temperature
Zest the four lemons and set aside the zest. Cut the lemons in half and squeeze out the juice, straining out the seeds. You should have about 2/3 cup.
Whisk the yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a heat proof bowl, then place the bowl over a pan a simmering water. Have another medium bowl with a wire sieve ready for when the curd is done cooking; you will need to strain it. Cook the curd, scraping down the sides of the bowl with a silicone spatula until the curd is opaque and thick enough to cling to the spatula. This will take about 10 minutes. If you use an instant-read thermometer the curd will be about 185 degrees.
Pour the curd through the wire sieve and into the bowl. Slowly whisk the butter into the curd one piece at a time until it is all incorporated. Place plastic wrap onto the curd, piercing with a few holes to allow the steam to escape. Cool completely and then transfer to a covered container and refrigerate for up to 4 days.
CANDIED LEMON SLICES
Cut 2 small lemons into 1/8 inch slices (you can use Meyer Lemons or regular lemons) Discard the seeds. Stir 1 cup sugar , 2 TBS lemon juice and ¾ cup water in a large skillet over medium heat until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lemon slices in a single layer and simmer gently, turning occasionally for about 16-18 minutes. Remove from the heat and place the slices in a single layer on cookie sheet lined with wax paper. Cool for an hour and then cover and refrigerate until you are ready to use them. They will last for about two days.