I love lemon curd: lemon curd on toast, lemon curd tarts, lemon curd cream puffs, just a spoonful of lemon curd on a particularly sunless day. Or how about using lemon curd to decorate a cheesecake? I rescued several Meyer lemons from the reduced bin a couple weeks ago and they were still languishing in my fridge last weekend so it was obvious, I had to make lemon curd. And since Y. gave me this box which had once contained cheesecake and was sadly empty, I decided to restore it to its former glory and to return it to him holding cheesecake once more.
Cheesecake with sour cream lemon curd glaze
- For the lemon curd:
- 6 Tbs. butter
- 2 whole eggs
- 1 egg yolk
- scant 1/2 cupsugar
- 1/2 cup lemon juice
- zest of 1 lemon
- For the crust:
- 2 cups digestive biscuit or graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup confectioners' sugar, sifted (optional)
- 6 Tbs. melted butter
- For the filling:
- 1 1/4 lbs. cream cheese
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 whole eggs
- 3 egg yolks
- 1 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
- 1 pinch salt
- For the glaze:
- 1 1/2 cups sour cream
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- 1/2 tsp. vanilla
- 1 pinch salt
- lemon curd from above
- For the lemon curd: Melt butter over medium-low heat in a heavy-bottomed pot. Add sugar and lemon juice and stir until sugar is dissolved. Beat together the eggs and the yolk. While mixing, pour a bit of the butter mixture into the eggs. Strain the egg mixture back into the butter mixture. Return to heat, reduce heat to low, and whisk constantly until curd forms. Pour into a baking dish, lay plastic wrap over the surface, and refrigerate until cold before using.
- If you are going to bake your cheesecake in a hot water bath, which is recommended but not absolutely necessary, wrap an 8- or 9-inch spring form pan twice in heavy duty aluminum foil. Set aside.
- For the crust: Combine the cookie crumbs and sugar if using. Add the melted butter and mix with a fork until all the crumbs are wet. Press into the bottom of the wrapped (or not) spring form pan. Refrigerate while you make the filling.
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- For the filling: In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese on low speed until it is smooth. Add the sugar and mix to combine. Add the eggs and yolks one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the vanilla, lemon juice, and salt and mix until smooth. Pour filling onto the chilled crust. If using the water bath method, put the cake pan into a roasting pan and pour recently boiling water into the roasting pan until it comes about half way up the cake. Either way, bake for about 50 minutes.
- Allow cake to cool to room temperature. Heat oven to 400°F.
- For the glaze: Combine sour cream, sugar, vanilla, and salt and mix until very smooth. Pour over the cooled cake and level with an offset palette knife. Pipe the lemon curd in concentric circles on top of the sour cream mixture. Starting from the center and working outwards, pull a skewer through the circles of lemon curd. Repeat around the cake until you have formed a sunburst. Place in oven for 5 minutes. Remove cake from oven and allow to cool before refrigerating for several hours.
- Allow cake to stand out of the fridge for a while before serving.
Try using different fruit curds depending on what's available.
I adapted this recipe from Nigella and the Joy and my own experience. I had always before made lemon curd in a double boiler, but Nigella gave me the courage to do it in a pot directly on the burner. I didn't have a roasting pan large enough to hold my spring form pan, but if you do I highly recommend baking your cake in a hot water bath. Custards, and what is cheesecake if not a very, very thick custard, do appreciate that sort of treatment. Above all, though, don't stress or rush (which might mean making the curd a day or two ahead), and enjoy this creamy confection with people you love.