Cheesecake is an enduring favorite dessert in households across the world, and continues to fascinate people with its infinite combinations of flavors and textures. It’s certainly a challenge to reinvent cheesecake, but a good place to start is with the intensity of a classic lemon-flavored dessert.
Lemon cheesecake is a light, zesty, and delicious combination of a citrusy cheesecake. On top of a flaky, buttery crust and a creamy filling, this dessert can also be topped with seriously decadent things like meringue, whipped cream, or a lemon glaze. For a less heavy approach, the dessert can also be chilled in the refrigerator with no extra topping. Here’s a delicious recipe for the classic lemon cheesecake.
- 2 cups of crushed graham crackers
- ½ cup of butter, melted
- 1 cup of granulated sugar
- Four 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 4 eggs
- 2 tablespoons of grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons of fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
- Preheat your oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch round springform pan.
- Mix the graham crackers and melted butter together in a bowl. Pack the graham cracker mixture onto the bottom of the springform pan, pushing it down slightly and evening it out. Bake for 10 minutes, or until golden-brown. Set aside and let cool for about 10 minutes.
- In a stand mixer, or electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it’s light and fluffy, about three minutes on medium speed. Gradually add in the sugar, until it’s light and fluffy. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Beat in the eggs one at a time, ensuring that each one is completely blended in before adding the next. Create a bit of a well in the center, and add in the lemon zest, fresh lemon juice, and vanilla extract.
- Blend together until all ingredients are combined, and the mixture is free of any lumps. Pour the mixture into the pan. Smooth out the top with a rubber spatula, pressing it down into the corners.
- Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet (it’ll make it easier to move), and bake for 35 minutes, or until the edges are set and slightly brown. Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, and carefully run a butter knife around the sides of the pan. Let cool on a rack for about an hour.
- Cover the pan with plastic wrap, and then refrigerate for 8 hours. Before serving, it’s best to remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator about 20 minutes prior.
Tips for Perfect Lemon Cheesecake
- Ensure that all ingredients are at room temperature before you get started. Cold ingredients won’t mix as well, and won’t combine together as nicely.
- Chill the cheesecake pan in the refrigerator, instead of the freezer – you’ll be able to tell a difference in texture.
- For best results, use freshly squeezed lemon juice. Store bought lemon juice will work, but doesn’t provide the same zesty intensity.
- If you want to save the cheesecake for a couple of days, make sure to refrigerate it well-covered. Best would be to place it in an airtight container.
- Rinse and dry the lemon before you grate it, ensuring there are no small bits of residue left.
- To reduce the baking time and make the middle of the cheesecake creamier, wrap the bottom of the pan with foil and bake it in a water bath.
- Remember to watch the cheesecake closely while its baking – overbaking will leave it dry and chalky. You’ll know it’s ready when the edges are slightly golden and the center still lightly jiggles.
Lemon cheesecake is a fantastic twist on a classic cake recipe, that’s sure to be a hit with family, friends, or guests. It’s light, bouncy, and luxurious, with a creamy filling contrasted by the zesty lemon topping. The addition of the zesty, zingy lemon really takes it to the next level, and you’ll find yourself coming back for a second helping, every time. Create your own addition to the cheesecake world with a beautiful lemon cheesecake, and delight everyone with a deliciously sweet and citrusy treat.