Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Triple Lemon Cheesecake

Do you ever have those "when it rains, it pours" moments.  Well, we've had one of those years.  Here are some things that we have to to fix/replace/pay for in the past few months:
Garage Door repair- $360
New tires- $500
New wheel- $160
Dental insurance mishap- $650
Oven repair- $320

Then, flashback to the week of my birthday.  I was trying to re-string my guitar that I got almost 20 years ago.  In some weird freak accident, one of the strings got caught and stuck.  I busted out my MacGuyver hat and tried every means possible to get that darn string out of there.  Every... means... possible.  All to no avail.  I was out a guitar, and it broke my heart!   That thing is a part of me.  Two days later, my phone just randomly shuts off.  I plug it in, and it vibrates, flashes the word "Google" and shuts off.  Over and over and over again.  All night long.  I tried a soft reset, a hard reset, removing the non-removable battery.  Nothing.  Vibrate.  Google.  Off.  Vibrate.  Google.  Off.  AHH!  I wake up on my birthday all bummed that my phone and guitar are no more.  I decide to go to T-mobile and get another phone that isn't too fancy.  I'm simple with things like that.  I got a new phone and was feeling pretty good.  Later, we went to Grimaldi's and met all of my family there for a birthday dinner.  Grimaldi's always makes me happy.  :)  At the end of dinner, my dad asks my brother to go get a box out of their car.  He comes back in with a guitar!  I wanted to cry because I was so excited.  It's a beautiful new Classical guitar, and I adore it!  It's absolutely beautiful.  A pretty crummy week turned out fabulous.

I made this cheesecake for my birthday cake, and we invited everyone over to have some.  It's a good thing because I would have eaten the entire thing in a couple sittings.  It was so amazing.  I'm salivating just thinking about it.  It may be one of the better cheesecakes that I've ever made.  I'm on a cheesecake kick which is dangerous because I'm trying not to eat sweets.  This is worth every calorie and fat gram.  I may have to make it again soon because it was so ridiculously good.

Triple Lemon Cheesecake

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs 6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted 1 cup granulated sugar 1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely grated 3 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature 1 cup sour cream 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh squeezed 3 large eggs 1/2 cup lemon curd, store bought or follow the recipe below 

Homemade lemon curd:
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 egg yolk
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
grated rind from 2 lemons (I used about 2 rounded Tablespoons)
1/2 cup butter, melted and cooled slightly

Whipped cream


Preheat the oven to 350.

Butter the sides and bottom of a 9 inch springform pan.  Get out a large roasting pan.

Start a pot of water and get it to boiling for the water bath.

In a large bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs and melted butter.  Stir to combine.  Press this mixture into the bottom of the springform pan.  Bake for 8-10 minutes.  Cool.  

Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.

Put the sugar and lemon zest into a food processor and pulse until fine.

In your mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed first, and increasing it to medium until it's light and fluffy.  Slowly add the sugar mixture, stopping to scrape down the sides every so often.  Beat until smooth.

Add sour cream and lemon juice.  Mix until smooth.  Add the eggs, one at a time, until smooth and well-incorporated.

Wrap the outside of the springform pan with heavy duty aluminum foil.  Wrap it well!  If you don't water from the bath will seep in.

Pour the filling onto the baked crust.  Place the springform pan in the roasting pan.  Pour the boiling water in the roasting pan until it comes up halfway.

Bake for 70-80 minutes or until the edges are set but the center is almost set and is still slightly jiggly. Don't over-bake it!  It will firm as it cools.

Remove the roasting pan and let the cheesecake sit in the water bath for 15 minutes while it's on the counter.  Remove from the bath, cool on a wire rack.

Remove the foil, loosely cover the cheesecake, and let it chill overnight.  This is where the magic happens!  Goodness... it is perfect the next day.

Prepare the lemon curd:

In a microwave-safe bowl, add the sugar and eggs and whisk well.  Stir in the lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter.

Cook in microwave, on high power, for 3-4 minutes.  
Cook for one minute, remove and stir.  (2x)
Cook for 30 seconds, remove and stir
Cook for 15 seconds, remove and stir (3x)

That made mine perfect!  Pour into a glass bowl and let it cool.  Serve on top of the cheesecake.

Top that with whipped cream.

Last instruction- try not to eat it all.  I want some!

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