Luscious Lemon Cheesecake

Lemon Cheesecake Recips

I've never been a huge fan of cheesecake but my family LOVES it! I do believe that it's my husband's favorite dessert of all time. I am however a HUGE lemon lover, so the combination of the two is a match made in heaven. Just like us :)

This cake is smooth and creamy (like him) and yet has a zippy punch of pucker (like me). Nothing overwhelming, mind you, just a slight reminder that says "Hey, I'm here and I don't want to go unnoticed!"

And guess what else..."You can dress me up AND take me places too!" (hint,hint)

Lemon Cheesecake Recipe

Prep time:  30 minutes     Bake time: 1 hour    Chilling time: 3 hours (or longer)

For the crust:
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons melted butter
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon zest (approximately 1 lemon, save the juice)

For the filling:
2 packages (8 ounces) cream cheese, softened
2 packages (8 ounces) Neufchatel cheese (lower fat cream cheese), softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup half and half
1/2 cup Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons raw honey
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice (approximately 2 lemons)
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons fresh lemon zest (approximately 2 lemons)
2 teaspoons lemon extract
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon salt
Yellow food coloring (optional)
5 eggs, lightly beaten (at room temperature)

For the garnish:
Lemon slices
Lemon zest
Whipped cream
Mint leaves

-Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
-Prepare a 10" springform pan by spraying it with baking spray.
-In a small bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, butter, sugar and lemon zest.
-Press the crumbs in the bottom and up the sides of the springform pan *Note - I used the bottom of a measuring cup to get a nice flat bottom and even sides (see photo).
-Place the springform pan on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 10 minutes. Remove and cool while you make the filling.
-In a large bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed (or a large bowl with a hand mixer), beat the softened cream cheese, granulated sugar, half and half, Greek yogurt and raw honey until creamy and smooth.
-Add in the lemon juice, flour, lemon zest, lemon and vanilla extract and salt.
-Blend on medium speed until just combined (remembering to scrape down the sides as needed).
-Add in the eggs and slowly blend until just combined (scrape down the sides as needed).
-Add in the yellow food coloring (I used a sparse 3 drops), but this step is completely optional.
-Stir to just combine and have uniform color throughout.
-With the springform pan still on the baking sheet, pour the cream cheese mixture into the springform pan with the crust.
-Bake the cheesecake for 55-60 minutes or until the cheesecake is set but still slightly jiggly in the center. *Note - the cheesecake will have puffed considerably in the oven.
-Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool on a wire rack for 40-50 minutes. *Note - the cheesecake will deflate and shrink slightly from when it was removed from the oven.
-Run a sharp knife around the edge of the pan to loosen and carefully loosen the springform sides, but do not remove just yet.
-Continue to cool for at least  30 more minutes before you place it in the fridge to cool.
*Note - do not worry if your cheesecake cracks on the top or sides because you'll be adding lemon slices and cream to garnish.
*Hint - Before serving on a decorative plate, add a folded damp paper towel to the serving platter to prevent the cheesecake from sliding on the plate. This will anchor the springform bottom to the serving plate itself. (see photo).
-Before serving, garnish the top with lemon slices and some freshly whipped cream, mint leaves and lemon zest.
*Note - I used some Cool Whip I had in the freezer and added some powdered sugar and meringue powder to hopefully give it some stability and holding holding power for when I did some pretty piping on the top of the did not work and I wound up with whipped cream blobs (not totally objectionable but not what I had pictured in my head). You can do a much better job than I did by planning ahead for garnishing the cake.
-Serve and enjoy!

So don't forget, when life hands you lemons...zest them first and then squeeze the heck out of them to get every last drop.

Then... Make something delicious!

Lemon Painted Wine Glass And Ceramic Tile

Thanks for stopping by to visit me in my Kudos Kitchen ~ Where food and art collide on a regular basis!

Until we bake again,

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