April 15, 2009
Lemon Curd Marbled Cheesecake
For Easter dinner, my family keeps it pretty simple. We always have a ham (simple and delicious, thank you Costco), "funeral potatoes" (I'm sure half of you know just what those are, for the other half, they're cheesy, buttery, sour-creamy shredded potatoes), green beans, and rolls. We did decide, though, to mix it up with a new dessert. I found this recipe about a month ago and I've been dying to try it- so this was the perfect excuse. I subbed neufchatel cheese (reduced fat cream cheese) for two of the bricks. I added a little Ultra gel to thicken it up a bit. Even so, I had to bake this for almost twice as long as the recipe called for. It is pretty simple, though- no water bath, no foil wrapping, no luxuriating. I'll have to try making Dorie's awesome cheesecake again with the lemon curd for a real taste test. I'm sure my family won't mind, but I'd better find another holiday or something for an excuse. Even with the reduced fat cream cheese, this dessert is a serious caloric investment. And totally worth it. Happy tax day, everyone! Lemon Curd Marbled Cheesecake adapted from Epicurious 1 1/4 Cups (about) Lemon Curd (recipe below and here) For crust 1 1/3 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs or 1 sleeve graham crackers, ground 1/3 cup sugar 3/4 teaspoon salt 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted For filling 3 (8-oz) packages cream cheese, softened 1 cup sugar 3 large eggs 3/4 cup sour cream 1 teaspoon vanilla Make and bake crust: Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Invert bottom of springform pan (to make it easier to slide cake off bottom), then lock on side. Stir together crust ingredients in a bowl, then press onto bottom and 1 inch up side of springform pan. Place springform pan in a shallow baking pan and bake 10 minutes, then cool crust completely in springform pan on a rack. Make filling and bake cheesecake: Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Beat together cream cheese and sugar in a bowl with an electric mixer at medium speed until smooth, 1 to 2 minutes. Reduce speed to low and add eggs 1 at a time, beating until incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla until combined. Pour two thirds of cream cheese filling into crust, then spoon half of lemon curd over filling and swirl curd into filling with a small knife. (Avoid touching crust with knife to prevent crumbs getting into filling.) Repeat with remaining filling and curd. Bake cheesecake until set 1 1/2 inches from edge but center trembles when pan is gently shaken, about 45 minutes (took about 75 minutes for me- just check every five or ten minutes after 40). (Center of cake will appear very loose but will continue to set as it cools.) Transfer springform pan to a rack and immediately run a knife around top edge of cake to loosen. Cool completely, about 2 hours, then chill, uncovered, at least 4 hours. Remove side of springform pan before serving. Cooks' Notes: Lemon curd can be made 1 week ahead and chilled, covered. Crust (without filling) can be made 1 day ahead and kept, covered, at room temperature. Cheesecake can be chilled, loosely covered, up to 2 days. Cheesecake must be completely chilled before covering to prevent condensation on its surface. Lemon Curd from Epicurious *note: Next time I'll pulverize the zest and the sugar in the food processor before starting the cooking so the final product is a little smoother but still flavorful 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 2 teaspoons finely grated fresh lemon zest 1/2 cup sugar 3 large eggs 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into bits Whisk together juice, zest, sugar, and eggs in a 2-quart heavy saucepan. Stir in butter and cook over moderately low heat, whisking frequently, until curd is thick enough to hold marks of whisk and first bubble appears on surface, about 6 minutes. Transfer lemon curd to a bowl and chill, its surface covered with plastic wrap, until cold, at least 1 hour.