Limoncello Cheesecake With Lemon Curd Topping

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I rarely eat dessert, which means that I do not often bake unless we are entertaining or have the family visiting. When I do bake however, I will often choose something chocolate, berry or lemon flavored since those are my two favorite flavors in desserts. When I think of spring desserts, I immediately think either strawberry or lemon. Lemon desserts are wonderful year round, but for some reason they just scream spring for me. When I was looking to create a new Easter dessert, I decided I wanted to bake a creamy cheesecake, and I wanted it to have a bold lemon flavor. One of my most popular desserts of the past couple of years is my Limoncello Tiramisu, so I decided to incorporate limoncello liqueur into my cheesecake as well.

I love the idea of a ricotta cheesecake, but I’ve found that a cheesecake made of just ricotta cheese can be a little grainy and doesn’t have the creaminess of a cream cheese based cheesecake. In this cheesecake, I combined both cream cheese and ricotta cheese, flavored it with limoncello liqueur, and then topped it with lemon curd. This cheesecake turned out creamy and light, with a bold lemon flavor that was just what I was hoping for. If you wanted to use a different fruit topping, such as a berry coulis, you could always skip the addition of the lemon curd.

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Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2015

Limoncello Cheesecake With Lemon Curd Topping

Ingredients:

  • 8 Ounces Graham Cracker Crumbs
  • 6 Tablespoons Melted Butter
  • 3 Tablespoon Grated Lemon Zest, Divided
  • 1 (12 Ounce) Container of Ricotta Cheese
  • 2 (8 Ounce) Packages Cream Cheese At Room Temperature
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup Limoncello Liqueur
  • 4 Large Eggs At Room Temperature
  • 1 Teaspoon Fiori di Sicilia Extract or 1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract

Lemon Curd Topping:

  • 1/2 Cup Freshly Squeezed Lemon Juice
  • 1/2 Cup Granulated Sugar
  • 2 Large Eggs
  • 2 Tablespoons Butter

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
In a bowl, mix together the crumbs, butter, and 1 tablespoon of lemon zest.
Press the crumb mixture over the bottom of the pan, and bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.
Cool crust completely.
Wrap the bottom and sides of the pan in aluminum foil.
In a bowl, beat the ricotta cheese with an electric mixer on medium speed until creamy.
Add the cream cheese and sugar, and beat until smooth.
Add the limoncello, extract, remaining lemon zest, and beat until blended.
Add the eggs, one at a time.
Pour the cheesecake mixture over the crumbs, and place the pan into a larger roasting pan.
Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan until it comes halfway up the sides.
Bake until the cheesecake is golden and the center still has a little wobble, about 1 hour.
Let the cake sit until it cools to room temperature.
To make the curd, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar and eggs until thoroughly blended.
Pour the mixture into a small saucepan over low heat, whisking continually until the curd has thickened, about 5 to 7 minutes.
Take the curd off the heat and whisk in the butter until smooth.
Pour the curd through a fine strainer over the cheesecake.
Refrigerate the cheesecake until it is cold, about 6 to 8 hours.

Adapted from Giada di Laurentis Limoncello Cheesecake Bars