Marbled lemon cheesecake just became my new favourite thing. Layers of cheesecake batter and lemon curd are swirled together to create a gorgeous marbled effect, with pockets of tangy lemon curd throughout.
Lemon curd alone makes me giddy. The bright flavour, that rich creaminess, the tang, the sweetness, that beautiful pale lemon colour…
It is delicious on scones, in pies, in yogurt, on ice cream, with pound cake, on pavlova, licked off your finger…
it should really come as no surprise that it found an incredible alliance in cheesecake.
Lemon curd is very simple to make – lemon zest and juice whisked with sugar and egg yolks over low heat till thickened. That’s all. It has the consistency of custard when it’s done. It should coat the back of a spoon, and you should be able to make a trail with your finger. If the trail immediately fills back in, it’s not ready yet.
Anything thickened with eggs may curdle if cooked over too high heat, or if cooked too long. And I find people generally don’t enjoy scrambled eggs in their lemon curd. Thankfully, all you need is a fine mesh seive to rescue a curdled curd. Just force the it through the seive with a wooden spoon, and you’ll have a smooth custard.
This recipe uses whole eggs instead of just the yolks. I was skeptical. I hesitated. I almost used another recipe. But it was perfect!
Start by making the lemon curd so that it has time to chill in the fridge while you bake the crust and make the cheesecake batter. I believe cooling the curd completely had an important part in keeping the curd distinct in the finished cheesecake.
It took an outstanding amount of willpower to not eat this by the spoonful before it was baked.
Marbled Lemon Cheesecake
For lemon curd:
- 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh lemon zest
- 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1/4 cup butter cut into small pieces
- 1 1/3 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup sugar
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
- 5 tablespoons melted butter
- 3 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 3/4 cup sour cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
To make Lemon Curd:
- In a small saucepan over medium-low heat, whisk together lemon zest, juice, sugar and eggs. Stir in butter and cook, stirring constantly, until curd thickens, about 5 minutes. Strain through fine mesh sieve and refrigerate, stirring occasionally, until completely cooled.
To make crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Stir together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, salt, and melted butter. Press into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes; cool on wire rack.
To make cheesecake:
- Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F. In the large bowl of a standing mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Reduce speed to low and beat in eggs, one at a time, until incorporated. Beat in sour cream and vanilla.
- Pour two-thirds of the cheesecake batter into the crust, and top with half of the lemon curd. Swirl gently with a knife. Top with remaining cheesecake batter and lemon curd, and repeat swirling. Bake in centre of oven for 45-55 minutes, until set (centre may still jiggle a bit, it will firm up). Cool completely before serving.