Friday, December 5, 2008

Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Curd

I found this recipe on another one of my favorite sites, Taste and Tell and was just itching for a chance to try it out. I decided to make it for Thanksgiving and LOVED it! Oh wow. It would rival any Cheesecake Factory cheesecake. The lemon curd on top was divine and good enough to eat alone. This was best the next day so make sure you give it plenty of time to chill before you plan to serve it. My only complaint was that the crust was a bit soggy, but not bad enough that it was gross and not any soggier than a crust at Cheesecake Factory. Oh, and I have to mention that my cheesecake didn't crack! It came out perfect (which never happens for me). I simply loved this cheesecake. It definitely filled my Cheesecake Factory void (I haven't been since August...) Oh, and Caden loved this cake as much as me! He probably ate half of my slice!

5 ounces Animal Crackers
3 tablespoons sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and kept warm

1 1/4 cups (8 3/4 oz.) sugar
1 tablespoon grated zest and 1/4 cup juice from 1-2 lemons
1 1/2 pounds (3 8-oz. packages) cream cheese, cut into 1 inch chunks, at room temperature
4 large eggs, at room temperature
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup heavy cream

1/3 cup juice (from about 2 lemons)
2 large eggs plus 1 large egg yolk
1/2 cup (3 1/2 oz.) sugar
2 tablespoons cold butter, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1 tablespoon heavy cream
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
pinch of salt

1. Adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and preheat the oven to 325F.
2. In a food processor, process the animal crackers until you have fine crumbs. You should have about 1 cup.
3. Add in the sugar and pulse.
4. In a steady stream, add the butter while pulsing, about 10 1-second pulses.
5. Transfer the crumb mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and press evenly into the bottom.
6. Bake until fragrant and golden brown. The instructions say 15 to 18 minutes, but mine was done at about 12 minutes, so keep an eye on it. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature.
7. When cool, wrap the pan with 2 18-inch square pieces of foil. Set the pan in a roasting pan.

1. Process 1/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon zest in a food processor until the zest is broken down and the sugar turns yellow. Transfer to a small bowl and mix in the rest of the sugar.
2. In a bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese to break it up and soften it slightly, about 5 seconds.
3. With the machine running, add the sugar mixture in a slow stream; increase the speed to medium and beat until combined, creamy and smooth - about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
4. Reduce the speed to medium low and add the eggs, 2 at a time. Beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Scrape the bowl before each addition.
5. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
6. Add the cream and mix until incorporated, about another 5 seconds.
7. Give the bowl a final scrape and pour the mixture into the prepared springform pan.
8. Fill the roasting pan with enough water to make it about halfway up the sides of the pan.
9. Bake until the center jiggles slightly, the sides start to puff, and the surface is no longer shiny, about 55 to 60 minutes. The center should read about 150 degrees F.
10. Turn off the oven and prop the door of the oven open with a potholder or wooden spoon. Allow the cake to cool in the water bath in the oven for about an hour.
11. Transfer the springform pan to a wire rack and run a small paring knife around the edges of the pan to loosen the cake. Let it sit to room temperature for 2 hours.

1. While the cheesecake is baking, heat the lemon juice in a small non-reactive pan on medium heat until hot, but not boiling.
2. Whisk the eggs in a small bowl, then gradually whisk in the sugar.
3. Whisking constantly, slowly pour the hot lemon juice into the egg/sugar mixture, then return the mixture to the saucepan and continue to heat over medium heat, stirring constantly until the mixture reaches 170 F and is thick enough to cling to the spoon, about 3 minutes.
4. Immediately remove the pan from the heat and add in the cold butter and mix until incorporated.
5. Stir in the cream, vanilla and salt, then pour through a strainer(I didn't do this) into a small nonreactive bowl.
6. Cover the surface of the curd directly with plastic wrap and refrigerate until needed.

When the cheesecake is cool, top it with the lemon curd while still in the springform pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 5 hours, but 24 hours is better. To serve, remove the sides of the springform pan and cut into wedges.

1 comment:

The Andersens said...

this is SO amazingly yummy!!!!!
my little gracey LOVED it. she likes the lemon cheesecake!