Escape Winter Blues With Three Lemon Cheesecake

I don’t know if its because I’ve got cabin fever in a major way, but for the past week or two, I’ve been in a cranky mood.  I’m craving a bit of sunshine.  Unfortunately I don’t have a magic weather wand to whisk this winter far away.  Instead I’m going to settle for substituting some natural light for a delicious disk of citrus sunshine in cheesecake form!  This 3 Lemon Cheesecake my sister Emily turned me onto is one of my favorite light (in texture, not fat!!) desserts.  A slice of this is a great remedy to chase away the winter blues!

3 Lemon Cheesecake
Recipe Courtesy of Group Recipes

Cheesecake

  • 1 pound regular cream cheese
  • 3 medium lemons, washed and dried
  • 1/3 cup heavy cream
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon all-purpose flour
  • Piecrust
  • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (7 or 8 whole crackers)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • Pinch of salt
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Glaze

  • 1/2 cup strained fresh lemon juice (from the 3 lemons)
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
  • 2 tablespoons sugar

Instructions

  1. First, remove the cream cheese from the refrigerator so that it can soften. It will be about the right temperature by the time it’s needed.
  2. Remove the zest from the lemons with a zester or grater. Reserve the lemons for later, leaving them out at room temperature, and put the zest in a small saucepan.
  3. Add the cream to the zest and heat just until the cream starts to bubble. Watch the pan carefully, since cream goes from bubbling to overflowing in a split second. Remove the pan from the heat,cover it, and let the zest steep for 45 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the cheesecake’s crust.
  4. Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F.
  5. Stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Stir in the butter until the mixture is uniformly moistened. With the bottom of a glass, press the crumbs into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust for 4 to 8 minutes, until it is barely browned at the edges. Let it cool.
  6. When the zest/cream mixture has steeped for 45 minutes pre-heat your oven to 500 degrees F.
  7. Using a stand mixer or a powerful hand-held mixer, beat the cream cheese at low speed until smooth. Add the sugar and continue beating until smooth, scraping down the bowl regularly.
  8. Increase the speed to medium-high and add the eggs one at a time. Then beat in the flour. Finally, strain the lemon zest cream and add the cream, beating until the mixture is smooth and uniform.
  9. Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Place the pan in a cake pan.  Fill the pan around the cake with an inch or so of water to act as a water bath to help keep your cheesecake moist.  Bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes. Lower the temperature to 200 degrees F and bake the cheesecake for another 10 to 20 minutes, until it is light brown on top, cracked, and just barely set in the center.
  10. Cool the cheesecake on a rack until it is slightly warm to the touch, then prepare the glaze.
  11. Juice the reserved 3 lemons and strain the juice to remove any pulp and seeds. Measure out 1/2 cup of the juice (if you don’t have 1/2 cup, add enough water to make 1/2 cup).
  12. Put the cornstarch in a saucepan and whisk in the lemon juice. Heat the mixture over medium-high heat, whisking constantly, until it thickens to the consistency of pudding, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sugar. While the glaze is till hot, spread it evenly over the cooled cheesecake.

Cover the cheesecake and chill it thoroughly before serving.

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