Lemon cheesecake

A bright and citrusy cheesecake that is full of lemon flavor! I used a lemon cookie crust, lemon filling, and lemon curd.

I have this little tradition whenever I visit my in-laws’ house. They are big fans of cheesecake, and I make them one (or two) every time we are there. We took a trip to see them over the 4th of July holiday, and we had two cheesecake flavors picked out. The first one was white chocolate cheesecake, which I make just about every time I am there. This time, I added a homemade caramel sauce to go on top. In addition to the white chocolate cheesecake, I made this lemon one.

One nuance to all the cheesecake baking is that I bring my own crumbs for the crust. My in-laws don’t own a food processor or a high powered blender to get the crumbs fine enough for a cheesecake. Therefore, I pulse the cookies in my machines at home and bring them with me. For the two cheesecakes, I used regular sandwich cookies (generic Oreos from my local supermarket) and lemon flavored ones with this cheesecake.

A funny thing (or not funny, depending on who you ask) that has happened to me TWICE is that TSA has stopped me for the cookie crumbs. Apparently, they look like an illegal substance when viewing through an X-ray machine. I’ve warned the TSA agents that what they are seeing are cookie crumbs, and that they are welcome to taste or smell them. They never seem amused and just let me go after they swab the zip-top bag for residue samples.

Because I didn’t have my camera on me and it was nighttime when we dug into these cheesecake, I did not get good pictures of it. Rest assured that it was delightful and brightened up our cold July 4th week (yes, it was cold and rainy!). This is a recipe that we liked enough to make at home, so I’ll file this away for another day where we can remake it.

Husband’s rating: 4.5 out of 5
Addie’s rating: N/A (she did not have any)
My rating: 4.5 out of 5

Lemon cheesecake

A bright and sunny cheesecake that is loaded with lemons
Prep Time1 hour 15 minutes
Cook Time2 hours 15 minutes
Chilling time8 hours
Total Time11 hours 30 minutes
Course: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Cheesecake
Servings: 12
Author: Eva Bakes

Ingredients

Crust

  • 2 and ¼ cups lemon sandwich cookies crushed (I used lemon flavored Oreos)
  • 10 Tablespoons unsalted butter melted
  • 3 Tablespoons granulated sugar

Cheesecake filling

  • 3 8-ounce packages cream cheese softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • 6 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh lemon zest
  • 3 large eggs room temperature
  • 2 large egg yolks room temperature

Lemon curd

  • cup granulated sugar
  • cup freshly squeezed lemon juice juice of 1 lemon
  • zest from one lemon
  • 2 large eggs room temperature
  • ¼ cup (½ stick or 4 Tablespoons) unsalted butter room temperature

Whipped cream

  • ¾ cup heavy cream cold
  • 6 Tablespoons powdered sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract

Instructions

  • Preheat your oven to 325℉.

Make the crust

  • In a food process or high powdered blender, crush the sandwich cookies with the sugar. Transfer to a medium sized bowl and add the melted butter. Mix well until well combined.
  • Press the crushed cookie mixture onto the bottom and up the sides of a 9" or 10" springform pan. Bake in your preheated oven for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven to cool slightly and decrease your oven temperature to 300℉.

Make the cheesecake filling

  • In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment or in a large bowl if using a handheld mixer, beat the cream cheese, sugar and flour on medium low speed until no lumps remain. You don't want to over mix this and add air pockets into the mixture or else your cheesecake will crack.
  • Turn the mixer to low and add the sour cream, lemon juice, and lemon zest. Mix until combined.
  • Add the eggs individually, one at a time, until well mixed. Add the egg yolks.
  • Pour the filling into the springform form on top of the crust.
  • Bake in your preheated oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes. The center may appear jiggly, but that's OK.
  • Turn the oven off (keep the door closed) and let the cheesecake stay in the oven for another 30 minutes.
  • Remove the cheesecake from the oven and allow it to come to room temperature. Cover and place it in the refrigerator overnight.

Make the lemon curd

  • In a small saucepan, mix together the sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and eggs.
  • Add in the butter and turn the stove on low heat. Continuously whisk until the butter is melted.
  • Turn the heat up to medium low and keep whisking until the curd starts to thicken and can coat the back of your spatula or spoon.
  • Strain the curd through a fine mesh sieve (to get rid of any cooked egg pieces) and into a container. Set a piece of plastic wrap on top and place it in the refrigerator to cool, at least 1 hour.
  • Remove the plastic wrap and replace it with a lid. Keep the curd in the refrigerator until ready to use. You can make this a few days ahead.

Make the whipped cream

  • In the cold bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment or in a large, cold bowl if using a handheld mixer, add the heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla extract. Whisk on high speed until stiff peaks form, about 3-4 minutes.

Assemble the cheesecake

  • Remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator. Add the lemon curd on top and smooth out the surface with a spatula.
  • Add the whipped cream on top (if desired, you can pipe the whipped cream into a pastry bag with a star tip and pipe stars or rosettes).
  • If desired, you can decorate with candied lemon pieces, candied lemon peels, additional lemon zest, or additional lemon sandwich crackers.

Notes

Leftover cheesecake should be stored, covered, in the refrigerator and will last several days.
Source: barely adapted from Life, Love and Sugar; lemon curd from here

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