Lemon Swirl Cheesecake
6 whole graham crackers (about 3 oz.)
1 C. walnuts, toasted
3 T. butter, melted
2 t. grated lemon peel
2 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 C. sugar
1/2 C. frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 t. grated lemon peel
3/4 C. sour cream
2 large eggs
1 C. sour cream, room temperature
1 12 oz. jar lemon curd, purchased or make your own (see recipe)
2/3 C. chilled whipping cream
2 1/4-inch-thick lemon slices, each cut into 4 wedges
8 small mint sprigs
Prepare the dessert 24 hours ahead, to give it time to cool overnight in the refrigerator.
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Finely grind graham crackers in processor. Add nuts; process until coarsely chopped. Add butter and lemon peel; blend using on/off turns just until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs firmly onto bottom (not sides) of 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Bake until crust is set, about 10 minutes. Cool. Maintain oven temperature.
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, lemonade concentrate and lemon peel in large bowl until smooth. Beat in 3/4 cup sour cream. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Pour filling into crust. Bake until center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 50 minutes. Transfer cake to rack, cool 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, for topping: Whisk 1 cup sour cream in small bowl until very smooth. Whisk lemon curd in another small bowl until very smooth.
Run small sharp knife around sides of cake. Starting at outside edge of cake, spoon small alternating dollops of sour cream and lemon curd side by side in concentric circles atop warm cake, covering cake completely. Using tip of knife, gently swirl toppings, forming marble design. Chill cake uncovered in the refrigerator overnight.
Using electric mixer, beat cream in medium bowl until stiff peaks form. Spoon cream into pastry bag fitted with medium star tip.
Run small sharp knife around sides of cake to loosen. Release pan sides. Transfer cake to platter. Pipe cream in decorative scallop border around top edge of cake. Garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs.
If you want to make this for Passover, skip the crust recipe. Instead, whirl the contents of 1 10-ounce can of macaroons in the food processor and press crumbs on bottom of pan with the back of a spoon to form a crust. Do not pre-bake macaroons. Pour filling directly onto macaroon crust and bake as directed.
Makes about 2 1/2 cups
4 whole eggs
7 oz. butter
1 1/3 C. sugar
Grate zest (peel) of all lemons, then squeeze them. Place zest, juice and remaining ingredients in a heavy 2-quart pot. Bring to a full boil slowly, whisking so that eggs do not cook on the bottom. Remove from heat and strain into a bowl. Cool and refrigerate. Sauce will keep for at least 2 weeks in the refrigerator or indefinitely in the freezer.