I think we can all agree, there's just nothing like Mom's home cookin'. It just tastes better, doesn't it? In a veiled attempt to get more home cooked meals I've asked my Mom to submit some of her favorite recipes for me to share with y'all each Monday. Let's get cooking in the kitchen with Mom!
This week's recipe is hands down one of my FAVORITE dessert recipes we serve at family gatherings. Here's how Mom described it when sending me the recipe:
"Lemony without being too citrusy, not too sweet, creamy, luscious, absolute perfection. It's not difficult to make, either. A little time-consuming, but worth every minute."
And I absolutely agree, 110%!
And I absolutely agree, 110%!
Lemon Bar Cheesecake
Serves 10 - 12
For the crust:
- 8 oz. vanilla wafers, finely crushed (2 cups of crumbs)
- 3 tbsp. granulated sugar
- 7 tbsp. butter, melted
For the Filling:
- 3 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tbsp. all purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- 2 tbsp. finely grated lemon zest
- 1 tbsp. pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, room temperature
For the garnish:
- 3/4 cup lemon curd (Mom uses William Sonoma's lemon curd, which is absolutely amazing! It's so good we spread it on toast and eat it that way too ;)
- Confectioners' sugar
Make the crust:
Begin by crushing your vanilla wafers (I used my food processor to make quick work of this). Position a rack in the center of the oven and heat to 375 degrees. In a medium bowl, stir together the vanilla wafer crumbs and 3 tbsp. sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are evenly moist and clump together. Transfer the mixture to a 9 inch springform pan and press evenly onto the bottom and up the sides, about 2 inches. Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darkened, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack. Lower the oven temperature to 300 degrees.
Fill and bake the cheesecake:
In a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, flour and a pinch of table salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl and paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Make sure the mixture has no lumps. Add the 1 1/4 cup sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.
Add the lemon zest and vanilla and beat just until blended, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don't overbeat once the eggs have been added or the cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top.
Bake at 300 degrees until the center jiggles like Jello when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake will be slightly puffed around the edges and the center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. The cake can also be frozen at this point for up to 1 month.
Garnish and Serve:
Unclasp and remove the sides of the springform pan. You can leave the cake on the base of the pan or run a long, thin spatula under the bottom and slide it onto a serving plate. Spread the lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake. Sift confectioners' sugar evenly over the cake and serve immediately.
To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry and cut the cake into slices, heating and wiping after every slice.