Lemon: Lemon Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust

posted by Meryl 03-26-102 11:20 AM

Lemon Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust
"Prepare this sensational cake one day before you plan to serve it."

For crust:
3/4 cup hazelnuts, toasted (if not available, can use toasted pecans, almonds, or walnuts).
3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons powdered sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For filling:
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
Lemon slices (optional)
Fresh mint sprigs (optional)
Make crust:

Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. (325 F for dark pans).

Finely grind nuts, cracker crumbs and powdered sugar in processor. Add butter; blend using on/off turns until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs onto bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Chill while making filling.

Make filling: Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Slowly add sugar; beat until smooth. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating 30 seconds after each. Mix in lemon juice and peel.

Pour filling into crust. Bake cake until outer 2-inch portion of top is set and center looks slightly glossy and is barely set, about 45 minutes. Transfer to rack cool to room temperature. Cover; chill overnight.

Run knife around sides of pan to loosen. Release pan sides. Place cake on plate. Top with lemon and mint, if desired. Serves 8 to 10.

Bon Appétit
March 1997

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