For Brian’s birthday a couple of weeks ago we had this wonderful cheesecake. It is a very creamy cheesecake flavored with lemon and orange zest and juice. You can use blood oranges or regular naval oranges. Lime would also be a great flavor, instead of the lemon. The recipe comes from Aimée Bourque, who is the editor of Simple Bites and author of the blog Under the High Chair.
The original recipe did not have you bake the cheesecake in a water bath, but I did because I think it helps the cheesecake cook more uniformly, and reduces cracks on the top of the cheesecake. To prepare your pan for a waterbath, wrap the springform pan in a double layer of foil. Or: this time I did one layer of foil and then put the pan in an oven-safe bag (the kind used for roasting turkeys). Place wrapped pan in a larger roasting pan and add hot, almost boiling, water to the roasting pan to a level about halfway up the outside of the springform pan.
If you are nervous about moving a pan full of boiling water: pull the oven rack out slightly from the hot oven. Place roasting pan on the oven rack, place springform pan in the roasting pan, and then add boiling water to the roasting pan. Carefully push oven rack back into the oven.
Just out of the oven-No Cracks!
A citrus zest-spiked sour cream makes a perfect topping and hides any imperfections that develop in the top of the cheesecake as the cheesecake cools.
I served this cheesecake with fresh blueberries and this fabulous homemade Blueberry Syrup.
It is flavorful enough that it could also be served on its own without any topping.
Creamy Citrus Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 ½ Tbs granulated sugar
¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
3 pkg (24 oz) cream cheese
¾ cup granulated sugar
¼ cup sour cream
Zest and juice of one lime or small lemon (wash before zesting)
Zest and juice of half an orange (wash before zesting; remaining half will be used in topping)
5 large eggs, room temperature
1 cup sour cream
Zest and juice of half an orange
6 Tbs granulated sugar
Place oven rack on the lowest level of the oven. Preheat oven to 350°F.
For the crust:
In a small bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and mix. Press onto the bottom of a nine-inch springform pan. Bake crust for 8-10 minutes until slightly golden. Cool. Wrap springform pan in a double layer of foil, or one layer of foil and then place in an oven bag (like the kind used for turkeys). Place springform pan in a larger roasting pan.
For the filling:
With a mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream, citrus zest and juice. Mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing until just incorporated.
Pour filling over crumb crust. Fill roasting pan (not springform pan!) with very hot (almost boiling) water to about 2-inches deep.
Bake cheesecake in the water bath for about 60 minutes. The cheesecake will have puffed significantly, and the middle will still be slightly jiggly. Remove pan from water bath and run a sharp knife around the sides, but do not remove ring. Cool for 15 minutes on a wire rack on the counter.
For the topping:
Combine sour cream, orange zest and juice, and sugar together in a small bowl. Pour over slightly cooled cheesecake and let stand for half an hour at room temperature.
Cover cheesecake pan tightly with plastic wrap, taking care not to disturb the surface of the cheesecake. Chill for at least four hours or overnight.
Remove plastic wrap and lift off the outer edge of the spring form pan. If desired, slide a sharp knife under the crust and slide the cheesecake off the spring form base and onto a cake stand or serving platter.
Serve cheesecake alone, or topped with fresh berries or homemade blueberry syrup.