Lemon Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Sure it’s spring and not necessarily time to bake but this cheesecake is amazing!   It’s a Bon Appetit recipe that is one of my friend Vicki’s go-to recipes.  It makes 16 servings so it would be great for a Mother’s Day gathering, graduation parties, wedding showers…you get the idea.  Creamy, rich and lemony…this is one fabulous dessert!

(Makes 16 servings)

IMPORTANT NOTE:  Bake the cheesecake at least one day ahead so that it has enough time to chill.

Ingredients:

lemon cheesecake photo by mark thomas

Bon Appetit photo by Mark Thomas

Crust

  • 2 cups ground gingersnap cookies
  • 6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 5 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 cups sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 7 large eggs
  • 3 cups (24 ounces) sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons (packed) finely grated lemon peel
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • Lemon leaves or twists (optional)

Directions:

For crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Stir cookie crumbs and butter in medium bowl until evenly moistened. Press mixture onto bottom of 9-inch-diameter removable-bottom cheesecake pan with 3-inch-high sides. Bake crust until deep golden, about 12 minutes. Cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.

Stack 3 large sheets of foil on work surface. Place same cake pan in center. Gather foil snugly around pan bottom and up sides to waterproof.

For filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until smooth and fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar, then salt. Beat in eggs, 1 at a time. Beat in sour cream, grated lemon peel, and lemon juice. Pour filling into pan.

Place wrapped cake pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan. Bake cake until filling is slightly puffed and moves only slightly when pan is shaken gently, about 1 hour 25 minutes. Remove cake pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cake in pan on rack 2 hours. Chill uncovered until cold; cover and keep chilled at least 1 day and up to 2 days.

Cut around pan sides; carefully loosen pan bottom from sides and push up pan bottom to release cake. Place cake (still on pan bottom) on platter. Garnish with lemon leaves or twists.

Test-kitchen tips
The pan: It must be three inches high to hold all the filling. If your nine-inch springform pan is that high, it can be used instead.
The cream cheese: For best results, use Philadelphia brand.
The crust: Grind the gingersnaps in the processor or place them in a heavy-duty plastic bag and finely crush them with a rolling pin.

Joan is the founder and owner of Hammertown Barn. Creating comfortable, inviting and living spaces is her passion.

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