Because this is our favorite cheesecake recipe EVER, I made it to celebrate my brother's birthday. I am so lucky to have such a great brother. He has a lovely home, wonderful wife and two handsome sons! The only problem is I only see him a few days out of the year due to the miles between us.
Steve is the official Apple Dumpling maker and I rarely make them myself because he does such a good job, it's hard to do better than him! I really wish I could be closer. I would happily share some of my cheesecake with him in exchange for some of his apple dumplings!
For this recipe, I made my own lemon curd. I love this stuff! The sweet tang is so delicious that I can just eat it by the spoonful! Lemon Curd is very simple with only 4 ingredients - Lemon Juice (and zest), butter, sugar, and eggs!
I love the bright citrus scent of the lemon. It literally makes you feel sunshine! I believe this is the biggest reason citrus (lemons especially) is big in the spring. It invokes the feeling of sunshine, brightness, and life!
When the lemon curd is done I always top it with some plastic wrap to prevent a "skin" forming over top of the curd. Once it has cooled enough, I put it in the refrigerator to get cold. The curd thickens up more as it chills. It is perfect for swirling into this cheesecake!
The crust for this cake is a shortbread type crust and is very thin. I love this because I'm looking for cheesecake when I eat cheesecake, not the crust!
I feel bad my brother isn't here to share this with us....seriously. It makes a lot of cheesecake!
Lemon Swirled Cheesecake
To Make The Crust
- ⅔ cup all-purpose flour
- 2 tbsp sugar
- 2 tbsp chilled butter cut into small pieces
- 1 tbsp ice water
- Cooking spray
- 48 oz fat-free cream cheese (3- 8 oz blocks), softened
- 16 oz ⅓-less-fat cream cheese, softened (2-16 oz blocks), softened
- 1¾ cups sugar
- 3 tbsp all-purpose flour
- 2½ tsp grated lemon rind
- 2 tsp vanilla extract
- ¼ tsp salt
- 5 large eggs
- 1 cup Lemon Curd
- Recipe for Lemon Curd:
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tbsp grated lemon rind
- 2 large eggs
- ⅔ cup fresh lemon juice about 3 large lemons
- 2 tbsp butter
- For the Lemon Curd: Combine the first 3 ingredients in a saucepan over medium heat, stirring with a whisk. Cook until sugar dissolves and mixture is light in color (about 3 minutes). Stir in lemon juice and butter; cook for 5 minutes or until mixture thinly coats the back of a spoon, stirring constantly with a whisk. Cool. Cover and chill (the mixture will thicken as it cools).
- To prepare the crust: Preheat oven to 400°. Lightly spoon flour into a dry measuring cup, and level with a knife. Place ⅔ cup flour and 2 tablespoons sugar in a food processor; pulse 2 times or until combined. Add chilled butter; pulse 6 times or until mixture resembles coarse meal. With processor on, slowly pour ice water through food chute, processing just until blended (do not allow dough to form a ball). Firmly press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400 for 10 minutes; cool on a wire rack.Reduce oven temperature to 325.
- To prepare the filling: Beat cheeses at high speed of a mixer until smooth. Add 1 ¾ cups sugar and the next 4 ingredients (1 ¾ cups sugar through salt); beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.Pour the cheese mixture into prepared pan. Spoon mounds of Lemon Curd over filling, and swirl together using the tip of a knife. Bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cheesecake is almost set. Remove cheesecake from oven, and cool to room temperature. Cover and chill for at least 8 hours.