If I could eat only one dessert for the rest of my life, anything involving peanut butter and chocolate would win hands down, but this cheesecake would be a close second. There's just something about lemon that I find irresistible no matter what the form.
This creamy, lemon-flavored cheesecake is topped with a homemade lemon curd glaze that is truly just too delicious for me to express, especially considering it requires only seven basic ingredients and is quick and easy to make.
2 1/4 cups honey graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
2/3 cup butter, melted
3 8oz packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/4 cups sugar
4 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice*
1 heaping Tablespoon grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
2 Tablespoons grated lemon peel
6 Tablespoons butter
*You will need a total of 3-4 medium to large lemons. Zest all the lemons before squeezing.
Combine the crust ingredients in a medium bowl and press onto the bottom and 2" up the sides of a 9" springform pan. Set the pan on a baking sheet and bake at 350° for 10 minutes. Let sit on a wire rack while you prepare the filling. Keep the oven at 350°.
For the filling, in a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs and beat on low until combined. Stir in the lemon juice, lemon peel and vanilla until just blended.
Pour slowly into crust, return pan to baking sheet and bake for 40 – 45 minutes or until edges are set and center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen the crust, cool for another hour then refrigerate overnight before serving.
For the glaze, in a small heavy saucepan, whisk the eggs, sugar, lemon juice and peel until blended. Add butter and cook, whisking constantly, until mixture thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Transfer to a small bowl and cool for 10 minutes. Cover and refrigerate until chilled.
Spread glaze on cheesecake before serving or serve it on the side with slices - yum! You will have about twice as much curd as you need to glaze the cheesecake but if you don't just eat it with a spoon (trust me, you will want to), it's delicious on toast, biscuits, scones, ice cream and sugar cookies!
This dessert is rich and decadent but still feels and tastes light and refreshing because of the lemon making it the perfect ending to a heavy holiday meal or a backyard BBQ on a hot summer day.