I use fromage blanc in this recipe which can be difficult to find in certain regions. If it is unavailable, you can substitute unsweetened Greek yogurt. In lieu of swiss meringue, I will often top with fresh fruit. Use your favorite citrus instead of lemon - two of my favorites; blood orange and tangerine.
For the Lemon Curd:
5 ounces lemon juice
½ cup granulated sugar
5 large egg yolks
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
For the Cheesecake:
2 pounds cream cheese
11/4 cup granulated sugar
1 pound fromage blanc
5 large eggs
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 cup lemon curd, divided
For the Swiss Meringue:
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice
To make the Lemon Curd:
In a 4-quart (4L) saucepan, whisk together the lemon juice, sugar, and egg yolks. Add in the butter
Place over medium heat, whisking constantly, (once butter begins melting, the mixture will look curdled until butter completely melts) about 10 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly. Do not let the curd boil, as it will curdle. Once mixture has thickened, remove from heat and transfer the curd to a bowl. Cover completely with plastic wrap and make sure the plastic wrap touches the surface of the curd directly. Place in a larger bowl filled with ice and water to cool down quickly. Refrigerate until ready to use. Can be stored in the refrigerator 1 week.
To make the cheesecake:
Lower oven to 325℉ (170℃) Gas Mark 3
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix cream cheese on low speed until softened; scraping down the sides of the bowl, underneath the paddle, and the paddle frequently with a rubber spatula, about 2 minutes. Add in sugar and continue mixing on low and scraping down the sides, bottom, and paddle until there are no visible lumps. Add in Fromage blanc and mix just until combined. Add in eggs, one at a time and mix just until combined, about 10 seconds after each egg. Stir in lemon juice and 1/2 cup of lemon curd. Pour batter over crust, spread batter with a small offset spatula to level batter. Place dollops of the remaining 1/2 cup lemon curd on the top of the batter. Using a knife or a small spatula, begin swirling the curd into the cheesecake batter, making either the letter “C’ or “L” motion in the batter, being careful not to touch the crust. Place springform pan in a large cake pan or a roasting pan (one that is around the same height or lower than your springform pan). Place in the oven and pour almost boiling water in the roasting pan (it should come up halfway around the sides of the pan). Bake about 1 hour, 15 minutes until the cheesecake is firm around the edges, but still jiggly in the center (about the size of a quarter). Remove from oven and remove cheesecake from the water bath. Remove the foil from the sides of the pan. Gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan to loosen the cheesecake from the sides. Allow to cool at room temperature. Place in the refrigerator at least 8 hours (this will help the cheesecake set completely).
To unmold the cheesecake:
Gently run a small sharp knife or small spatula around the edges of the pan. Release the latch on the side of the pan and then lift the ring straight up.
To make the Swiss Meringue:
Whisk together the egg whites and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer. Set aside. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 inch of water and place over high heat to bring to a boil; turn to low heat. Place the bowl of egg whites/ sugar on top of the saucepan, (making sure the bowl does not touch the water) whisking constantly, but gently until the mixture is hot to the touch, about Remove from heat and set aside.
Remove from heat, place on an electric mixer with whisk attachment and whisk on medium high until the mixture is thick and glossy (it will look like marshmallow fluff). You should be able to invert the bowl and the egg white mixture will stay in place. Once it is thick, stop whisking otherwise the mixture will overbeat and become grainy. Stir in lemon juice.
To decorate: Place a large dollop of swiss meringue on each slice of cheesecake. Optional – Using a butane torch, brown the meringue until golden.
Cream Cheese Dough
1¼ cup(156g) all-purpose flour
2 tablespoons(30g) granulated sugar
½ teaspoon salt
3 ounces(83g) cold unsalted butter, cut into cubes
3 ounces(90g) cream cheese, cold, cut into cubes
2 tablespoons(30ml) heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350℉ (180 ℃) Gas mark 4
In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, sugar and salt. Pulse once or twice to mix completely.
Add in the butter and cream cheese and pulse the butter/cream cheese into the dry ingredients until the mixture resembles a coarse ground cornmeal and no pieces of butter or cream cheese remain visible. Add in the heavy cream and pulse this just until the mixture is uniform in color and comes together (if you pinch a small piece of dough, it will easily hold together). Remove from food processor. Using your fingers, pinch off small pieces of dough and place them all over the bottom of a 10-inch (25cm) spring form pan. Using the palm of your hand or the bottom of a glass, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the oven and bake the crust about 18 to 20 minutes or until lightly golden and firm, but not hard to the touch. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely, about 10 to 15 minutes.