February 9, 2010

First Meyer lemons of the year (for me anyway)

As is obvious from the name of this blog, I enjoy lemons, a lot.  So I thought it fitting that the first actual recipe entry would be that of a lemon recipe. Plus I read about Lemon Lovefest  and thought well, heck I should enter that!  They have a archive of lemon recipes as well found here.

I made a Meyer lemon cheesecake last weekend purely out of convenience.  What? How is a cheesecake convenient?  Well my sister decided to try a new diet in which she eats mostly egg white omelets for breakfast so I told her to save the yolks and I’d make a lemon curd with them.  (I hate wasting food, drives me nuts.)  This recipe just so happens to have a layer of curd under the cheesecake for lemony goodness and I’d bought the lemons a few days before hand because they were the first Meyer lemons I’d seen in the store.  Therefore I had almost everything I needed already at home.  All I needed was the cream cheese.  So low and behold, Meyer Lemon Cheesecake!  I adapted a key lime cheesecake recipe found here at epicurious.com I made last year for my mom’s birthday to get this wonderful concoction and I’m positive that regular lemons could be used as well, it would just be a bit more tart.  I’m thinking that next time I try this I’ll do a layer of raspberry jam instead of the curd or maybe with the curd since raspberry lemon is so freaking awesome too. 

On a side note I was ¼ cup short on my graham crackers so I added some crushed Meyer lemon thins (cookies) from Trader Joe’s to my crust. It gave a nice lemony taste to the crust, or you could add some lemon zest.  Those cookies could be used as decoration.  

My favorite thing about this cheesecake is the sour cream topper.  I’ve never had a cheesecake with a topper like it before.  I remember it was especially nice for the key lime version of this because it cuts the tartness really well.  For the Meyer lemon version here it would be easy enough to just leave the topper off if it doesn’t suit your fancy because its not overly tart.  My dad kinda hated to topper so he left it to the side and just ate the rest of the cheesecake, but everyone else really liked the richness it added.  This recipe was really easy to make and as long as you have the water bath you shouldn’t have any cracking problems.  If you like lemons, and especially if you also like cheesecake you will love this recipe!

Lemon custard
  • 6 large egg yolks
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 6 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon grated Meyer lemon peel or regular lemon peel

  • 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 whole graham crackers)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted

  • 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup
  • 2 large eggs
  • 3 tablespoons fresh Meyer lemon juice or regular lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon grated Meyer lemon peel or regular lemon peel


  • 1 16-ounce container sour cream
  • 3 Tbsp sugar
  • ¼ tsp vanilla extract
crushed lemon drops and/or lemon slices to decorate

For lemon custard:
Whisk all ingredients in heavy small saucepan over medium heat until custard thickens and boils for 30 seconds, about 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally (mixture will thicken).
For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Wrap 2-3 layers of foil around outside of 8- to 8 1/2-inch-diameter springform pan with 3-inch-high sides. Butter pan.
Add dry crust ingredients in a large bag.  Pour in melted butter and combine.  Pour into  pan and press crumb mixture evenly onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Bake just until set, about 5 minutes. Cool completely. Maintain oven temperature.
For filling:
Beat room temperature cream cheese until smooth 2-3 minutes with a stand mixer.  Add 2/3 cup sugar and mix well.  Add eggs one at a time incorporating well, then add lemon juice and lemon peel in blend well.  Or you can use a food processor and do it all at once.  It’s a slightly runny filling.

Spoon custard into crust; smooth top. Carefully spoon filling over. Set cheesecake in large baking pan. Add enough hot water to baking pan to come 1 inch up sides of cheesecake pan. Bake until almost set but not puffed and center moves slightly when pan is gently shaken, about 45 minutes. 

Meanwhile, stir sour cream and 3 tablespoons sugar and vanilla in medium bowl to blend. 

Carefully spoon sour cream mixture over hot cheesecake; smooth top. Bake until topping sets, about 10 minutes. Cool 10 minutes. Run knife around sides of pan to loosen. Cool cheesecake completely. Cover and refrigerate overnight.  Keep refrigerated.  Garnish with crushed lemon drops or lemon slices and serve.

p.s. My sister, Abby Hathaway took the pictures for me.  She's a professional photographer and the pics are linked to her website.  Now you don't have to look at my fuzzy pictures, isn't that nice?

Click Here!

1 comment:

  1. Hey Betsy...

    What a great recipe you've submitted to the Lemon LoveFest Library! Love your website. {How could I not?} It's always nice to discover
    another lemon-lover!