Just in time for Easter weekend, Kate Wood of The Wood and Spoon shares her Meyer Lemon Cheesecake that’s sure to please a crowd.
MEYER LEMON CHEESECAKE
For the chocolate crust
- 1 cup (130 gm) powdered sugar, sifted
- ¾ (65 gm) cocoa powder, sifted
- ²⁄³ (80 gm) cup flour, sifted
- A pinch of salt
- ½ cup (115 gm) butter, melted
Ingredients needed for the cheesecake
- 6 ounces (170 gm) semisweet chocolate, chopped
- 1½ pounds/ 3 blocks (680 gm) of cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- ¾ cup (155 gm) sugar
- 3 large eggs (170 gm), room temperature
- 6 tablespoons (90 ml) heavy cream, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 4¼ tablespoons (65 ml) of Meyer lemon juice (about the juice of 1½ large Meyer lemons)
- 1 tablespoon of packed Meyer lemon zest (about the zest of 2 large Meyer lemons – avoid the white pith)
To prepare the chocolate crust
- Prepare a 9” springform pan by wrapping it in sheets of aluminum foil. I use 3 layers of extra wide foil wrapped to the top lip of the pan. Spray the inside walls and bottom of the pan with cooking spray.
- Stir together the dry ingredients until combined. Add the melted butter and stir until just combined. Gently pat out your chocolate mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan. Set aside while you prepare the cheesecake filling.
To prepare the cheesecake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees and get some water boiling in a kettle or saucepan for your water bath.
- Set a glass bowl over a pot of simmering water and melt chocolate. Set aside to cool slightly.
- Beat cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer at medium speed (I use 4 on my KitchenAid mixer) for 2 minutes to remove all clumps. Do not overbeat, but scrape the sides of the bowl as needed. If many clumps remain, ensure that your cream cheese has softened to room temperature.
- Add the sugar and beat on medium for an additional 1 minute. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat to combine an additional 1 minute. Scrape the sides of the bowl and then add the heavy cream, vanilla and lemon juice. Beat to combine.
- Strain the cheesecake batter through a mesh strainer into a reserved bowl and then fold in the lemon zest. Remove 3/4 cup of the cheesecake batter and stir it into the melted chocolate. Spread the chocolate cheesecake over the top of the chocolate crust. Next, pour the remaining cheesecake batter over top of the chocolate layer. Gently rap the pan on the counter to help any air bubbles escape.
- Place your springform pan into a slightly larger baking dish/pan and fill the larger pan with the boiling water you prepared for the water bath until the water reaches about halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Carefully place both pans in the heated oven and bake for 1 hour. After an hour of baking, the edges and top of the cheesecake should be set but still jiggle slightly in the center. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to bake for an additional 30 minutes in the oven. Prop the door of the oven open slightly with a wooden spoon and continue to cool the cheesecake for another 30 minutes in the cooling oven.
- Discard the water bath, remove the foil and then place the cheesecake in the fridge to chill for several hours or overnight. The cheesecake can be stored in the fridge for several days.
I wrap my springform pan with three layers of heavy duty aluminum foil. This is to protect your crust from any water leakage of your springform pan. Many pans will claim to be waterproof but your crust will get soggy and inedible if water leakage happens.
I use an 11” round cake pan for my water bath, but you can use any oven-safe dish that you have.
The cooling process may seem lengthy and unnecessary, but it helps to prevent drastic temperature changes that can cause structural issues with your cake.