Lovely Lemon Cheesecake

How often have you looked at a food magazine cover and gasped at the beauty?

Have you ever looked a dish on the cover and declared excitedly and immediately… “I must make this“?

Well, that’s how I felt about this lovely lemon Cheesecake as soon as I spotted it.

There are quite a few steps to this dessert but it’s oh-so worth it.

cheesecake

When I opened my mailbox last week, there it was…. the latest (February) issue of Southern Living magazine.

Whoa. I stopped in my tracks, transfixed on the stunning Dreamy Lemon Cheesecake on the cover.

It was so light and airy looking and pretty coloring of the cheesecake somehow reminded me of a warm spring day.

I just had to make it.

lemons

Lovely Lemon Cheesecake
Author: 
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 12
 
Ingredients
  • 2½ cups crushed cream filled lemon sandwich cookies
  • 2½ tablespoons salted butter, melted
  • 5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese
  • 1½ cups granulated sugar
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoons lemon zest plus
  • 5 tablespoons fresh lemon juice (2 lemons for juice and zest)
  • 2 tablespoons of heavy cream
  • Yellow food coloring gel
  • 1 cup lemon curd (optional, recipe below)
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Wrap outside of a lightly greased 9-inch springform pan in a double layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil.
  2. Crush cookies, add butter and press into the bottom of the pan. Bake until crust is lightly browned (about 7-8 minutes). Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
  3. Beat cream cheese until cream. Add sugar and flower. Add eggs, 1 at a time. Add egg yolks, 1 at a time, until yellow disappears from each addition.
  4. Stir in lemon zest, lemon juice and heavy cream.
  5. Remove 3 cups of batter and place in a separate bowl. Add food coloring gel to tint the batter into a more vibrant, contrasting yellow.
  6. Spoon half the untinted batter into the prepared crust. Spoon half the contrasting yellow batter onto the untinted batter and use a small knife to swirl the two batters to create a marbled look. Repeat until all batter is used.
  7. Place springform pan (covered in foil) in a roasting pan and add boiling water to reach halfway us the sides of the pan.
  8. Bake at 325 degrees until he center is almost set but still slightly wobbly, about 1 hour and 20 minutes.
  9. Turn off oven and let cheesecake stand in oven with door partially open, 1 hour.
  10. Remove cheesecake from roasting pan and water bath and place on wire rack to cool about 2 hours. Wrap in plastic and chill for 8-24 hours.
  11. Gently remove springform after chilling completely.
  12. Add lemon curd and fresh whipped cream before serving.
  13. Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy.

lemons and lemon zest

Hands down, lemon is my favorite citrus.

In fact, I’ve had an affinity for lemon flavor and all things lemons for some time.

You can see my previous post on how much I love lemon (and how to turn a ficus tree into a lemon tree) in my previous post HERE.

crushed cookies

This is such a fun twist on traditional pie crust.

Instead of using smashed graham crackers, this recipe calls for a crust made from crushed lemon-filled Oreo cookies.

Put them in a baggie and beat with a rolling pin or just drop them in a food processor and pulse a few times.

I’m going to keep this in mind for an upcoming cheesecake crust featuring chocolate and cream-filled Oreo cookies for the crust.

cheesecake crust techniques

There are a couple of simple baking techniques in this recipe that I think are worth highlighting.

  1. Once the cookie crust is pressed into the bottom of the spring-form pan, wrap the pan with a double layer of aluminum foil and bake the crust for about 7 minutes until golden brown. The foil will help prevent the water bath (step #2) from seeping into the pan. I actually got lucky because I removed the foil before placing in the water before I realized I should have kept it on.
  2. After the cheesecake dough is poured into the pan, place the pan in a roasting pan and fill the pan with boiling water about halfway up the pan. The steam from the water will help bake the cake gently and smoothly and help prevent major cracking in the top.
  3. As soon as you take the curd off the stove, pour into a bowl and place plastic directly on top of the curd to prevent a film from forming while it’s refrigerated. The recipe for this lemon curd is below.

makring lemon curd

Lemon Curd
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 cups
 
Ingredients
  • ½ cup salted butter, softened
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 4 large eggs
  • 2 large egg yolks
  • 1 tablespoon lemon zest
  • 1 cup fresh lemon zest (4 lemons for juice and zest)
Instructions
  1. Beat butter and sugar in electric mixer until blended. Add eggs and egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.
  2. Gradually add lemon juice to butter mixture and beat until blended.
  3. Stir in zest.
  4. Transfer mixture to a heavy 4-quart saucepan and cook, whisking constantly over medium heat until mixture thickens and easily coats the back of a spoon, about 14-16 minutes.
  5. Transfer curd to a bowl, place plastic wrap directly on to of warm curd to prevent a film from forming.
  6. Chill until firm, about 4 hours. refrigerate in an airtight container up to 2 weeks.

cheesecake and lemons

Ooooh-la-la.

This lemon curd just glides right over this cake so effortlessly and the multiple flavors blend wonderfully.

The citrus-tart flavor of the curd provides just the right amount of kick to this dessert.

It combines well and really helps to balance the sweetness of the cheesecake.

This is good folks.

lemon curd gift tags

A little of this curd goes a long way.

I ended up with quite a bit of leftover lemon curd because I didn’t want to overdue it on the cake.

So, rather than toss it, I poured the curd into a couple of small Mason jars for gifting.

I also whipped up a couple of small tag labels for an added touch of “homemade”.

lemon curd

Lemon curd for gifting. I love it and your recipient will too.

How adorable are these little curd-filled jars?

I’ve gotta say, even if you don’t make the cake, you’ve just got to try making the curd.

Here’s a great housewarming gift idea… a small batch of homemade scones along with a jar of homemade lemon curd.

I’m saving one of these jars of homemade curd for my mom who is coming to visit me in a few days.

Hmmm, I’ll have to whip up some scones too…. because I’m sure this lovely lemon cheesecake already almost gone.

cheesecake slice

A generous amount of fresh whipped cream is an appropriate topper.

I have an easy homemade whipped cream recipe featuring another fantastic dessert HERE.

Finish the cake off  with a sprig of fresh mint for color and added aroma… and you have one lovely lemon cheesecake on your hands.

Your dinner guests are going to love this. Promise.

lovely lemon cheesecake

Thanks for stopping by.

See  you back here next time. 

 

 

SHOP THE LOOK

  • Jessie

    I have made this twice and I can’t keep the water out of it!!! The first time I baked another crust then cut the cake off the old soggy crust and placed the cake on a newly baked nonsoggy crust. This time I triple wrapped and I have a cake on my counter with water dripping out. Any suggestions?

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Oh, Jessie, I’m sorry to read that you ended up with soggy crust.
      Try skipping the water dip altogether. I’ve actually made this same cake before without having it sit in water and it came out just fine.
      Good luck and let me know if that works for you. Fingers crossed from me.

  • Kathryn

    Can you share some ideas for using the lemon curd? I received some as a gift and I’m not sure what to do with it.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Hi Kathryn, lemon curd (any type of fruit curd) can be used as a spread on scones or toast.
      You can also use it as a filling for homemade jelly donuts or eberskervers.
      It’s also great as a filling for fruit tarts.
      And of course as a topping for cheesecake.
      Enjoy!

  • Marisa Franca @ All Our Way

    I don’t know how I missed this photo and recipe but I did. Regardless, the minute I saw it at Thistlewood Farms I knew who it belonged to — YOU! I love your style and I believe I could recognize it just about anywhere. Happy Easter to you and your family! Big Hugs!!

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Oh, thanks so much, Marisa.
      It’s nice to know that it looks like I’ve finally actually developed a recognizable “style”.
      You know how hard I’ve been working on that. Really.
      Hope you have a wonderful holiday weekend too.

  • [email protected] hills

    Hi Lisa!
    My husband and I had dinner this past weekend at our friends home and this is the dessert she made! it is absolutely delish! I too got my issue of SL and have already placed the recipe in my “Will Make” folder! your pictures are gorgeous as is your entire blog!

  • Candace

    Beautiful Lisa! I wish I could sit down with a slice of this today and savor the moment. Candace

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Definitely give this a try,Candace.
      As pretty as it is, it’s just as tasty too.
      Creamy and slightly tart from the curd is a great combo-lol.

      • kim

        I made this for friends the other week and due to weather they had to cancel that evening, the lemon cheesecake was already made and so what could i do ..i froze half with the curd on it & gave the other half away to some friends to share. Now the original friends came over 2 weeks later and yep i pulled out the frozen cheesecake and i saved the additional lemon curd in an airtight container in the refrigerator. No one the wiser it was great !!! a must make & a must keep to do again.

        • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

          Kim, that is so good to know that this holds up well after being frozen.
          Happy to hear that you and your friends enjoyed this pretty dessert.
          I still can’t get over how easy it is to make curd. I’m going to make more this summer to give away.
          Have a wonderful day and thanks for letting me know how your cake turned out.

  • [email protected] Designs

    I too gasped when I saw the cover, but I must say, that I love “your cover” more!
    We are lemon lovers in this house too, so I am going to definitely make this and hope it looks as yours!

  • Botanic Bleu

    Lisa,
    Lemon cheesecake, lemon curd, and real whipping cream… a combination guaranteed to make me stop in my tracks. Sounds delicious.

    Judith

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Yes, yes, Judith.
      That’s exactly how I felt when I first saw it-lol.
      I’m going to share it with your Monday Social.
      Hope you have a wonderful week.

  • Jennifer

    I love lemon and this cheesecake looks amazing. I love the idea of crushed up lemon sandwich cookies for the crust! Yummo.

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks, Jennifer.
      The cookie crust is a great idea and it’s not nearly as sweet as I expected it would be.
      It’s all quite delicious.
      Have a great week!

  • Teddee Grace

    Oh my goodness! Looks just heavenly. So perfect for Easter. When did you remove the cake from the spring form pan, though? “Remove cheesecake from roasting pan and water bath and place on wire rack to cool about 2 hours. Wrap in plastic and chill for 8-24 hours before serving.”

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks so much, Teddee!
      I agree, this would be such a pretty dessert for Easter.
      Gently remove the springform pan AFTER the cake is completely chilled.
      I amended my recipe copy to reflect that additional clarification too.

  • Lynn

    One word…DECADENT! Well, I need another word…maybe two…ABSOLUTELY BEAUTIFUL! I’m sure that this dessert is outstanding, which is good enough…but it also seems like you had a good time making it. And having a surplus of lemon curd…it just doesn’t get any better. I’m definitely pinning this for a special occasion…or just an ordinary day that needs something special. Have a great day.

    Lynn

    • Lisa Tutman-Oglesby

      Thanks, Lynn. The extra curd was a real bonus and I love the petite jars they’re in.
      I’ve had those jars forever and never found a use for them.
      I think I’m going to make more batches of curd (sans cake) just so I can jar-it-up and give it away as gifts.
      Glad you like the post.
      Happy day to you.

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