- Prep time 10 minutes
- Cook time 45 minutes
- Serves 10
A friend needed a cheesecake, and so I made one. And not just a plain vanilla cheesecake, this one is flavored with the juice and zest of Meyer lemons. Have you found the Meyer lemons in your supermarket produce section? (I'm asking this question of my local friends, not my California friends, who all seem to have Meyer lemon trees, leaden with fruit, and the "problem" of too many Meyer lemons. )
This is the second year that I've found the lemons in my suburban Kroger, $1.99 a bag. What is the magic of a Meyer, you ask? Well, it's like a lemon, but not. It's like an orange, but not. It's somewhere in between—not quite as tart as the lemon, not quite as bold as the orange, but a pleasant in-between.
For my lemon cheesecake, I used Biscoff cookies for the crumb crust instead of the usual graham crackers. Biscoff have a deeper, more molasses taste that suits the Meyer lemons well. Plus, they are just exotic enough to go with the slightly-left-of-center lift of the Meyers. If you fly Delta, save up your little packs, or just visit Kroger, like the rest of us.
This is the best cheesecake I've ever made. Astute recipe readers will note that it's a riff on the classic Three Cities of Spain cheesecake from Gourmet. That is the best basic cheesecake recipe in the world and is very adaptable. I added the zest and juice of two Meyer lemons for just the right amount of zip.
Updated March 2023: Juice of 2 Meyer lemons is equivalent to 1/4 cup. —Lucy Mercer
Test Kitchen Notes
We love the combination of zest, juice, and lemon extract, which packs a very lemony punch without too much acidity. The sour cream topping adds a great balance to the richness of the filling and looks lovely flecked with lemon zest. And Biscoff cookies as the crust? Sign us up. —Food52
- Biscoff Crust:
Biscoff cookies, crumbled
unsalted butter, melted and cooled
- Filling & Assembly:
(8-ounce) packages cream cheese (low-fat is okay, no-fat is not)
plus 1 tablespoon sugar
Meyer lemons, zested and juiced
(16-ounce) carton sour cream (low-fat is okay, no-fat is not)
- Biscoff Crust:
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Grease a 9-inch springform pan. In a food processor, blitz the cookies until finely ground. Add the sugar and salt and continue to process until combined. Slowly pour in the butter and process again until finely ground and just starts to come together.
- Press the mixture into the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool to room temperature.
- Filling & Assembly:
- Heat the oven to 350°F. Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, in a large bowl, beat the cream cheese until fluffy. Add the eggs one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add 1 cup of the sugar and mix well, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
- Add half of the zest to the filling. Add all of the lemon juice, vanilla extract, and lemon extract and continue to mix until just combined. Pour the filling into the prepared crumb crust. Place the pan on a baking sheet and bake for 45 to 55 minutes, until the cake is just set in the center. Remove the cake from the oven but do not turn the oven off.
- In a medium bowl, whisk the sour cream and the remaining 1 tablespoon of the sugar and lemon zest. Spoon the sour cream mixture onto the cheesecake and spread with an offset spatula or knife. Return to the oven and continue to bake for 10 to 15 minutes, until set and warmed through. Let cool to room temperature. Run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to separate it from the edge of the pan, if needed. Gently release the springform pan. You can present the cheesecake on the base of the pan. Serve at room temperature or refrigerate overnight. Store the cheesecake well wrapped in the refrigerator.