Serves Makes about 2 and 1/4 cups
- 1+ tablespoons lemon zest, optional*
- 3/4 cup fresh lemon juice (3-4 large lemons)
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 3 large eggs + 4 large egg yolks
- 4 tablespoons butter (1/2 stick), chopped**
- In a small saucepan, stir together lemon zest, lemon juice, sugar, and salt. Set over medium heat and cook for about 5 minutes, or until the sugar and salt have dissolved.
- Meanwhile, in a medium bowl beat together 3 eggs and 4 egg yolks. Whisk it very well.
- When the liquid on the stove is ready, slowly pour some of it into the bowl with the eggs, whisking constantly. I usually pour in about half, but you can do more or less. This is called tempering the eggs.
- Return the pot to the stove and add the rest of the eggs while stirring. If you don’t stir you may curdle your eggs.
- Continue to whisk pretty constantly over medium heat for about 5 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened. When you drag your whisk over the top of the mixture, it should leave marks.
- Pour the curd through a mesh strainer into a new bowl (or the same one, washed). Unless you are an expert curd maker, you will probably have a few solid egg pieces in there, which is totally okay! Just strain them out.
- Stir the chopped butter into the lemon curd until it’s completely melted. This is a good time for a large spoonful of hot lemon curd.
- Press a square of plastic wrap directly on top of the lemon curd. If you just cover the bowl, you will get a film on your curd.
- Refrigerate until cold, about 2-4 hours. It will thicken up some as it cools.
- Transfer to a tupperware. Keeps for 1-2 weeks.
*The lemon zest adds great flavor and will make it more tangy. If texture is more important to you than flavor and you are looking for a super creamy lemon curd, then leave it out.
**I’ve seen similar recipes that call for up to 8 tablespoons of butter. Go for it! I think it tastes great with 4 tablespoons, but I’m not one to turn down extra butter…
SERVINGS12 servings PREP TIME9 hrs 30 mins COOK TIME1 hr 15 mins TOTAL TIME10 hrs 45 mins
For the Graham Cracker Crust:
For the Cheesecake Filling:
- ▢ 40 ounces cream cheese at room temperature (5-8 oz. packages; 2 1/2 lbs total)
- ▢ 1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
- ▢ 1/2 cup sour cream at room temperature
- ▢ 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- ▢ 4 large eggs at room temperature
- ▢ any desired cheesecake toppings
- Place oven racks in the center of the oven. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- In a medium sized bowl, stir graham cracker crumbs together with sugar and melted butter until well incorporated and mixture looks like damp sand. Using the bottom of a measuring cup, press crust into the bottom and half way up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake 7 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- In a large bowl or bowl of a stand mixer, mix cream cheese 30 seconds ’til smooth. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and add in granulated sugar, sour cream and vanilla. Mix again until incorporated. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl and mix again briefly.
- Crack eggs into a liquid measuring cup and using a fork, beat until well scrambled. With the mixer on low, slowly pour in the eggs into the cream cheese mixture and stop stirring once egg has been incorporated. Remove bowl from mixer and scrape the sides and bottom again, ensuring the entire mixture is smooth. If there are a few small lumps, try to fold in using the rubber scraper.
- Once the batter is completely smooth and ready, tap the bowl on the counter for 30-45 seconds to remove as many air bubbles as possible. You should see them popping on the surface as you tap the bowl. Pour filling into the center of the graham cracker crust and gently smooth the top. Will be very full!
- Bake for 30 minutes at 325 degrees. Reduce temperature to 250 degrees and continue cooking for 45 minutes more. Once this time has elapsed, turn oven off and keep cheesecake inside for another 30 minutes for some carryover cooking without opening the oven door. Crack oven door to let cheesecake cool slowly for one hour before removing. At this point, cheesecake should be slightly warm. Bring cheesecake to room temperature on the counter (3-4 hours) before covering with plastic wrap and transferring to the fridge.
- Refrigerate until chilled completely (6 hours to overnight). To serve, open springform pan and remove collar. Decorate as desired. Dip a sharp knife into hot water, wipe off any excess water and slice. I like to dip my knife in water between each slice to get really clean-looking pieces.
If you would like a thicker graham cracker crust, use 1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs, 5 tablespoons granulated sugar and 6 tablespoons melted butter. Press into the pan and bake for 8 minutes.
1 1/2 ounces unsweetened cocoa powder, approximately 1/2 cup
3 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
8 large egg yolks
9 ounces sugar
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- Place the cocoa powder along with 1 cup of the half-and-half into a medium saucepan over medium heat and whisk to combine. Add the remaining half-and-half and the heavy cream. Bring the mixture just to a simmer, stirring occasionally, and remove from the heat.
- In a medium mixing bowl whisk the egg yolks until they lighten in color. Gradually add the sugar and whisk to combine. Temper the cream mixture into the eggs and sugar by gradually adding small amounts, until about 1/3 of the cream mixture has been added. Pour in the remainder and return the entire mixture to the saucepan and place over low heat. Continue to cook, stirring frequently, until the mixture thickens slightly and coats the back of a spoon and reaches 170 to 175 degrees F. Pour the mixture into a container and allow to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes. Stir in the vanilla extract. Place the mixture into the refrigerator and once it is cool enough not to form condensation on the lid, cover and store for 4 to 8 hours or until the temperature reaches 40 degrees F or below.
- Pour into an ice cream maker and process according to the manufacturer’s directions. This should take approximately 25 to 35 minutes. Serve as is for soft serve or freeze for another 3 to 4 hours to allow the ice cream to harden.