Cheryl's Limoncello Cheesecake
- 20 lemon cookies (e.g., Pepperidge Farm lemon cookies)
- 3 to 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
- 5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cups sugar
- 5 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup limoncello liqueur
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1/4 cup heavy cream
- pinch salt
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 5 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
- 12 ounces of creme fraiche
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon limoncello
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch springform pan.
Step 2: For the Crust: Finely grind the cookies in a food processor. Add the melted butter and lemon zest, and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom (not the sides) of the prepared pan. Bake until the crust is golden, about 10 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack. Lower the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
Step 3: For the Fillling: In a large mixer bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, and cornstarch until smooth for about 3 minutes, stopping the mixer occasionally and scraping down the sides of the work bowl. Add the limoncello, lemon juice, heavy cream, salt, vanilla, and 2 tablespoons of lemon zest. Mix well. Add the eggs one at a time, and beat just until blended. Scrape down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Step 4: Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in greased 9-inch springform pan. The batter will reach the rim of the pan. Place the baking pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the baking pan.
Step 5: Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes until the center of the cake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack; cool 1 hour.
Step 6: For the Topping: Mix the creme fraiche and sugar together and gently spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool until the topping is set or chill overnight. Best served at room temperature.