Thursday, January 12, 2012

Meyer lemon cheesecake with a Biscoff crust

Meyer lemon cheesecake with Biscoff crust. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
A friend needed a cheesecake, and so I made one. And not just a plain vanilla cheesecake, this time it's flavored with the juice and zest of two Meyer lemons. Have you found the Meyer lemons in your supermarket produce section? (I'm asking this question of my local friends, not my California friends, who all seem to have Meyer lemon trees, leaden with fruit, and the problem of "too many Meyer lemons.")

This is the second year that I've found the lemons in my suburban Kroger, $1.99 for a bag. What is the magic of  a Meyer, you ask? Well, it's like a lemon, but not. It's like an orange, but not. It's somewhere in between - not quite as tart as the lemon, not quite as bold as the orange, but a pleasant in-between.

Meyer lemons. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books
For my lemon cheesecake, I used Biscoff cookies for the crumb crust, instead of the usual graham crackers. Biscoff have a deeper, more molasses taste that suits the Meyer lemons well. Plus, they are just exotic enough to go with the slightly-left-of-center lift of the Meyers. If you fly Delta, save up your little packs, or just visit Kroger, like the rest of us.

Biscoff cookies. Lucy Mercer/A Cook and Her Books

This is the best cheesecake I've ever made. Astute recipe readers will note that it's a riff on the classic Three Cities of Spain cheesecake from Gourmet.It is the best basic cheesecake recipe in the world, and is very adaptable. I added the zest and juice of two Meyer lemons, for just the right amount of zip.

Start with the crust:

Biscoff crust

5 ounces Biscoff cookies, broken up

1/3 cup sugar

1/8 teaspoon salt

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

1. Heat oven to 350. Prepare a 9-inch springform pan.

2. In a food processor, blitz Biscoff cookies until finely ground. Add sugar and salt and continue to process. Slowly pour in melted butter and process again.

3. Press mixture into bottom and up sides of springform pan. Bake in 350 oven for 10 minutes. Remove and let crust cool to room temperature.

Then make the filling:

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake

3 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened (low-fat is fine, no-fat is not)

4 large eggs

1 cup sugar

1/2 teaspoon lemon extract

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

2 Meyer lemons, zest removed, and juice reserved

1 (16 oz.) carton sour cream (low fat is fine, no-fat is not)

1 tablespoon sugar

1. Preheat oven to 350.

2. In a mixing bowl, place cream cheese and beat with an electric mixer until fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sugar and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.

3. Add 1/2 of the zest to the cheesecake batter, reserving the remainder. Add all of the juice and the extracts to the batter, and continue to mix. Pour batter into prepared crumb crust. Place pan on baking sheet and bake at 350 for 45 minutes or until cake is just set in center. Remove cake from oven but do not turn off oven.

4. Stir together sour cream, 1 tablespoon sugar and remaining lemon zest. Spoon this mixture onto the cheesecake and spread with an offset spatula or knife. Return the cake to the oven and bake for 10 additional minutes. Remove cheesecake from oven and let cool to room temperature. Store cheesecake, well-wrapped in refrigerator.

Text and images copyright 2012, Lucy Mercer.


Lana @ Never Enough Thyme said...

Sounds absolutely delicious!

linda @spiceboxtravels said...

Right up my alley, Lucy, and a great way to use up my surplus of Meyer lemons :)
I am going to try this. You should enter into Food52 this wk- best citrus recipes this wk. Really.
Happy weekend.

Lynn Coulter said...

i'm absolutely making this this weekend!

Bellwether Vance said...

Your cheesecake looks divine! I love lemon anything.

1.99 a bag is great! They're very expensive here, even though they are pretty easy to grow. One year we gave my dad a meyer lemon tree for Christmas and it produces tons of lemons. You might look into planting one (or putting in a container since you're a zone above us).

Lucy Mercer said...

Lana - Thanks for stopping by!

Linda - Food 52 - done! (serendipity!)

Lynn - please tell me how it turns out!

Bell - I was amazed at the price on the Meyer lemons. I still want to grow a tree, though.

The Teacher Cooks said...

Congrats to you for the Food 52 feature! Good for you Lucy!

Lucy Mercer said...

Thanks, @TeacherCooks! A complete surprise. If you don't already have a page over there, you really should - the contests are creative and fun and the cooks are very knowledgeable and generous.