This recipe from Tom Hannum, chef-owner of Buckley’s Tavern in Centreville, is the perfect way to use fresh lemons from your local produce stand.
- 5 packages of Philadelphia brand cream cheese, softened to almost room temperature
- 12 ounces sugar
- 8 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 10 ounces heavy cream
- 1/2–1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Juice and zest of one lemon
- 1/2 tsp salt
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Using a tabletop mixer, cream together the softened cream cheese and sugar. Add eggs and yolks, two at a time, scraping down the bowl after each addition. Add lemon juice/zest, salt and vanilla. Then add heavy cream. (You can add more vanilla and lemon to adjust flavor to your liking.)
Grease and lightly flour two cake pans that are 2 inches deep and 8 inches in diameter. Divide batter into both pans. Place the pans in a water bath, then place in the oven. Place a sheet pan filled with water on the shelf above the cheesecakes—this will help prevent the cakes from browning.
Bake for 40–45 minutes, or until the center is jiggly like Jello when touched or gently shaken.
Remove the cake from the oven and the water bath, and place on cooling racks for 45 minutes.
For best results, Hannum says, use two cardboard cake circles covered in plastic wrap for this next step. Place one circle on top of the cake, and use both hands to invert the pan. The cake should drop out of the pan onto the cardboard circle. Place the other cardboard circle on the cake and re-invert it so that the top of the cake is facing upward again.
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After the cheesecake has cooled, the best way to cut it is with a thread. Wrap a piece—long enough to stretch across the center of the entire cake—around both index fingers. Then push the thread down through the cake and pull it back up. Turn the cake 90 degrees and repeat until the cake is cut into 12 or 16 slices.