Lemon curd is one of the most underused ingredients on the market, if you ask me. I think it’s partially because the word “curd” is pretty gross – the lemon curd marketing people should consider a re-brand. But I digress.
I love this time of year when lemons and limes and corn (corn!) start showing up in everything. Eating something tart and citrusy is like a sensory reminder that it’s warming up outside, and that there will be barbecues and bathing suits. A lemon dessert is the best way I know of to treat Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Usually when I eat cheesecake I prefer it to be as plain as possible. Whipped cream is permissible but under no circumstances do I want strawberry sauce or raspberry sauce or, God forbid, blueberry sauce. But I needed something summerier than cheesecake so this Lemon Lemon Cheesecake happened. It was delicious. The tart of the lemon curd really helped break up the weight of the cheesecake…and that crust! I’ll never go back to graham cracker crumbs again.
LEMON LEMON CHEESECAKE
recipe adapted from Creative Culinary
2.5 cups crushed Gingersnap cookies
1/4 cup sugar
5 Tbsp. melted butter
24 oz. cream cheese, softened (room temp for 2 hours, reduced fat is fine)
1 1/3 cup sugar
3 Tbsp. lemon juice (fresh!)
2 tsp. grated lemon zest
2 tsp. vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
1 small jar (about 8oz.) lemon curd
1 pint fresh blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Put the gingersnap cookies in a Ziploc bag and crush until they’re crumbs (this can also be done in a food processor.) In a large bowl, mix the crumbs, the 1/4 cup sugar, and the melted butter together. Press firmly into the bottom of a 12″ springform pan and about an inch up the sides as well. Use the biggest springform pan you have – this makes a big cheesecake! Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and bake for 5 minutes, then cool for at least 10 minutes.
2. In a mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese until completely smooth, about 2 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time while the mixer is on low. Gradually add the sugar, the lemon juice, the vanilla extract, and finally the lemon zest. When smooth, pour into the cooled crust, place the springform pan on the rimmed baking sheet, and bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until a knife inserted in the center comes out clean. Allow to cool about 30 minutes.
3. Once cooled a bit, spread the sour cream all over the top of the cheesecake in a thin layer, to the edges. Place in the refrigerator and cool uncovered another hour or so, or until the sour cream isn’t quite so wet. Using the back of a spoon, spread the lemon curd on top of the sour cream carefully – leave a 1/2″ or so of sour cream showing on the sides. Sprinkle the washed blueberries into a pile in the center of the cheesecake. Refrigerate at least 3-4 hours, preferably at least 8 before serving.
***I like to let my cheesecake sit out for about an hour before serving so it’s not so jarringly cold.
For the love of all that is holy do not forget to put the rimmed sheet pan under your cheesecake as it bakes. I make this mistake EVERY TIME and as the butter in the crust melts it leaks onto the bottom of the oven where it burns and fills the oven with smoke. The cheesecake is still edible but tastes faintly of a charcoal briquette. And you have to clean the oven. No bueno.