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Lemon Ginger Cheesecake

Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Refrigeration Time 1 day 2 hours
Servings 12 people
Author Eva Kosmas Flores

Ingredients

Pistachio Almond Crust

  • 5 ounces shelled pistachios
  • 1 cup almond meal or flour
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 egg
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter melted

Lemon Ginger Curd

  • 4 teaspoons cold water
  • 2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter cut into individual tablespoons
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
  • 1 tablespoons finely grated fresh ginger
  • 3 eggs

Cheesecake Filling

  • 1/3 cup boiling hot water
  • 3 1/2 teaspoons unflavored powdered gelatin
  • 8 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • 16 ounces cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/3 cup honey
  • 1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

Candied Lemon Twists (optional garnish)

  • 4 small lemons
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Instructions

Pistachio Almond Crust

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease the bottom and sides of a 8-inch springform cake pan and line the bottom and sides with parchment paper and set it aside.

    To make the crust, mix together all of the ingredients in a food processor until a thick and slightly coarse paste forms, similar in texture to thick hummus or cookie dough. Evenly press the mixture into the bottom of the pan, then place the pan on a lipped baking sheet and bake until golden around the edges and deeply fragrant, about 14 to 18 minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.

Lemon Ginger Curd

  1. Pour the 4 teaspoons of cold water into a very small bowl and sprinkle the top with the gelatin. Allow the gelatin to "activate" for 5 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, place the butter in the top of a double boiler. As soon as it melts, whisk in the remaining ingredients, included the activated gelatin mixture. Continue whisking until the gelatin dissolves AND the mixture has noticeably thickened enough to coat the back of a spoon. Remove from heat and place the top of the double boiler in an ice bath, whisking constantly until the mixture is brought down to 'warm' rather than 'piping hot'.

  3. Remove from the ice bath, and separate out 1/3 cup of the lemon ginger curd and set it aside. This small portion will be used to create the swirl on the top of the cheesecake later on, and the larger quantity will be the layer of curd in the center of the cheesecake.

Lemon Ginger Cheesecake

  1. In a small bowl or mug, whisk together the water and gelatin until the gelatin dissolves. Set aside to cool to room temperature.

  2. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the heavy cream at medium high speed until soft peaks form. Empty the whipped cream into a small bowl and set it aside. Swap the stand mixer attachment for the paddle attachment, and beat the cream cheese in the mixing bowl until smooth. Add the honey, ginger, and vanilla extract and mix at medium low speed until incorporated. Reduce speed to medium-low, then add the lemon juice in a thin steady stream to keep the cheesecake mixture smooth any prevent any chunks from forming. Add the gelatin mixture and mix until combined.

  3. Empty half of the cheesecake mixture into the springform pan and smooth the surface with a rubber spatula. Pour the larger quantity of lemon curd on top, spreading it in a neat and even layer. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

  4. Remove the covering from the cheesecake, then spoon the remaining half of the cheesecake filling over the set lemon curd and smooth the surface of the cheesecake. Pour the remaining 1/3 cup of lemon curd in a spiral on top of the cheesecake (it's okay if it's a rough spiral, we'll be swirling it up in a moment!) Insert a butter knife about 1/4-inch deep into the surface of the cheesecake and drag it around in a swirling motion to create swirls of the curd and the cheesecake. The less you mix, the more pronounced the swirls will be.

  5. Cover the cheesecake and refrigerate overnight. When it's nearly time to serve, remove the sides of the springform pan, peel off the parchment paper from the sides, and garnish the top with the candied lemons (see below). Slice and serve.

Candied Lemon Twists (optional garnish)

  1. Slice the lemons as instructed in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aYjfNosujSk (this will allow you to create the twist shape later on). Bring the water and sugar to a boil in a small saucepan over medium high heat. Add the sliced lemons (it's okay if they overlap) and reduce heat to low. Simmer for 1 hour, spooning off and discarding any foam that forms on top, and flipping the slices every 15 minutes. Remove from heat, and use tongs to remove the slices and place them on a wire rack to cool, with a paper towel underneath to catch any dripping syrup. Once they're warm and no longer super hot, form the twist shape and place them back on the rack to continue cooling and firming up overnight while the cheesecake sets in the fridge.