Happy National Cheesecake Day! Let’s celebrate with this creamy, delicious Lemon Cheesecake!
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**I am a brand ambassador for PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese. All opinions are 100% my own!**
Some people celebrate Christmas, Elvis’ birthday, anniversaries. But I also enjoy celebrating food holidays. And today, being National Cheesecake Day, is one of my favorites!
As you may recall, I’ve been working with PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese this year to create some delicious recipes using their product. When they asked if I could create a dessert for National Cheesecake Day, well, it only seemed fitting I go with a lemon flavored treat.
Several years ago we had a house sitter who would leave us cheesecakes in the refrigerator when we would return home from vacations. I mean seriously, do you know how exciting it was to return home to a freshly baked cheesecake? He made some great flavors. When he moved, he gave me his basic recipes for some of these cheesecakes. Today, I tweaked one of his base recipes and added some homemade lemon curd on top. I also used a chocolate cookie crust instead of a graham cracker crust, just to add a little extra decadence. It is a holiday after all!
I know many people get afraid when it’s time to make a cheesecake. They think it’s going to be hard. Just like I’m afraid to make macarons. I know, silly right?
Cheesecake can be super easy if you follow a few of my favorite tricks:
- Line the bottom and sides of your springform pan with foil. This is VERY important. Because we are going to bake our cheesecakes in a water bath, you don’t want that water seeping into your cheesecake. Cut a big piece of foil and wrap the bottom of your pan (ON THE OUTSIDE). If I’m feeling paranoid, I’ll double layer the foil.
- Use PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese for your filling. Seriously people, you want the creamiest cheesecake? Using a product that is made from fresh local milk (from farm to fridge in just 6 days) and real wholesome cream creates the best cheesecake. It’s a no brainer.
- Once you make your cheesecake crust and add your filling, place your pan into a water bath. I use my broiler pan. I place my cheesecake into the pan, then add enough water to go up the sides of the springform pan about 1 inch.
- Bake cheesecake according to directions. When it’s done baking, DON’T open the oven. Just turn the oven off and leave your cheesecake in there for about 45 minutes. This helps cut down on those cracks on top of your cheesecake!
- Remove cheesecake from oven after 45 minutes and allow to set in refrigerator. I prefer to give it at least 6-8 hours, but I’ve eaten it as quickly as 4 hours. Add your lemon curd and slice and serve. (for nice clean slices, run knife in hot water and wipe with paper towel after each slice)
So there you have it. A few of my favorite tricks for Cheesecake Baking. Today’s recipe uses one fresh lemon, zested into the cheesecake filling and some homemade Lemon Curd on top. It adds a touch of sweetness from the citrus curd. You can make your own using this recipe, or buy a jar at the store. And don’t forget to stock up on some PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese.
Connect with PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese:
Yield: 12 servings
Prep Time: 7 hours, 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
For the crust:
- 16 Chocolate wafer cookies
- 4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
- 1 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1 cup white chocolate morsels
- 2 packages (8oz each) PHILADELPHIA Cream Cheese, softened
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp corn starch
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
For the topping:
- 1 cup lemon curd
- Prepare 9inch springform pan by wrapping entire bottom, and partially up the sides with foil (the OUTSIDE of the pan, no inside). Set aside.
- To make crust, blend cookies in food processor until fine Incorporate melted butter until even. Press crust into bottom of a 9inch springform pan. Freeze while you make the filling.
- In a saucepan with inch of boiling water, place a double boiler, metal bowl or glass bowl to heat heavy cream. Once warm, add white chocolate chips and remove from heat. Whisk until chocolate is smooth. Set aside to cool (about 15 minutes).
- For the filling, beat cream cheese, lemon zest, sugar, cornstarch, sour cream and vanilla.
- Slowly add cooled white chocolate mixtures. Finally, add eggs, one at a time until mixture is smooth. Pour into prepared crust and place cheesecake pan into a large baking dish (I use a roasting pan). Fill dish with hot water to about 1-2 inches up sides of cheesecake pan.
- Bake 60 minutes in a 350 degree oven. Turn off oven and let sit undisturbed for about 45 minutes. Remove and allow to cool in refrigerator about 6-8 hours (or overnight).
- Top with prepared lemon curd, slice and enjoy!
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“I have been selected by Kraft Foods to be an ambassador for PHILADELPHIA cream cheese. While I have been compensated for my time, my opinions are my own, and I have not been paid to post positive comments. Read my disclosure policy for more information!”
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