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.
- 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
- 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.