Lemon-Scented Cheesecake

  • Serves: Makes one 9-inch springform or 9 x 2-inch pan
  • Baking Temp (degrees F): 325
  • Views: 7792

Recipe by Sarah Phillips © 2008 Sarah Phillips CraftyBaking.com

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This is one of my favorite mouth-puckering cheesecakes. This cake can be easily changed to an orange or lime flavored cheesecake. Simply substitute the zest and juice accordingly!


For an even more lemony punch, I add in 1/4 teaspoon lemon oil with the lemon zest and juice.

4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 1/2 cups finely ground graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar

2 pounds (four 8-ounce packages) cream cheese; preferably Philadelphia Brand
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
5 large eggs
1/2 cup full-fat or fat-reduced sour cream; do not use low-fat or nonfat

1. Position oven shelf in the middle of the oven and preheat to 325 degrees F.

2. Generously grease the bottom and side of a 9-inch springform or 9- x 2- inch cake pan with vegetable oil spray. Optionally, put a disk or parchment paper in the bottom and grease that. (Place pan on paper and trace around, cut). Wrap outside of the with a double layer of heavy-duty foil to prevent seepage.

Put graham cracker crumbs and sugar and combine right in the pan. Drizzle melted butter over the crumbs to moisten and mix until moistened. Press in the bottom of the pan. Set aside in the refrigerator.

3. In a mixing bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on low speed to soften, scrape the bowl and add remaining sugar. Blend 1 minute on low speed and scrape the
bowl. Blend in lemon zest and juice.

4. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese on low speed to soften, scrape the bowl and add the sugar. Blend 1 minute on low speed and scrape the bowl. Blend in lemon zest and juice.

5. With mixer running on low speed, add eggs one at a time, blending each one before adding the next. Scrape sides of bowl often. Mix in the sour cream with the mixer on low
Scrape the batter into the prepared pan. Tap the pan on its side with the side of the handle of a wooden spoon about a dozen times to get rid of air bubbles. Smooth the top, otherwise it may crack along any overlapping batter.

Pull out the oven shelf. Set the cheesecake filled pan in one (12-inch) cake pan or roasting pan (to serve as water bath) on the oven shelf. Surround it with 1-inch of very hot water.

6. Bake approximately 40 to 50 minutes, until the center is just set but jiggles like firm gelatin. You don't want to overbake this cake, this will cause cracking and a dry texture.

When the cake is done, remove from the outer water pan and set on a level surface and cool until room temperature for about 1 – 2 hours. Remove the pan of water from the oven once the water has cooled. The cake will come from the oven slightly puffed and will fall back down and flatten as it cools.

Cover the cheesecake with plastic wrap and chill it at least 12 hours, preferably for 24 hours, especially if using a solid cake pan.

To unmold, remove the sides of the springform pan. Or if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate. Otherwise invert cheesecake. And with a sharp knife, lift off bottom of springform. Place a flat plate on top and quickly invert.
Cut into slices.

Store the cheesecake in the refrigerator or freezer for 4 - 5 days tightly covered with plastic wrap. It can be frozen for 2 to 3 months; first freeze unwrapped until hardened and then wrap. Cut before thawing for clean and neat cuts. Thaw in the refrigerator in its wrappers.