Juice and peel of 2 lemons
6 Tbsp butter
1 c sugar
5 oz Nabisco Barnum's Animal Crackers (Should make about 1 cup.)
3 Tbsp sugar
4 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted
1 1/4 c sugar
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1/4 c lemon juice
1 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, softened for 45 minutes
4 large eggs, room temperature
2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 c heavy cream
For the Lemon Curd: Grate peel from lemons careful not to remove pith. Put peel, juice and sugar in a small sauce pan. Stir over moderate heat until sugar is dissolved. Do NOT boil. Add butter and stir until melted. Remove from heat and allow to cool. Whisk eggs and pour lemon mix over eggs. Stir well and strain back into pan with a fine strainer. Stir constantly over low heat until mix thickens and just reaches boiling point. Again, do NOT boil. Place in a container and chill until needed.
For the Crust: Heat oven to 325 degrees. Crush cookies into fine crumbs either with a rolling pin in a ziploc bag or in a food processor. Pour into bowl and stir in sugar. Add butter and stir until evenly moistened and it resembles wet sand. Pour into a 9 inch springform pan and press down firmly and evenly over bottom of pan. Try not to get any on the sides. Bake for 15-18 min. until fragrant and golden brown. Cool pan on wire rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes. When it's cool, wrap outside of pan in two 18 inch square pieces of heavy foil and set pan in a roasting pan
For the Filling: Mix 1/4 cup sugar with lemon zest until sugar is yellow. Add remaining cup of sugar.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until softened. While mixing, add sugar mix in a steady stream and then increase speed and mix until it is creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl as needed. Reduce speed and add eggs 2 at a time, beating 30 sec. after each addition and scraping down sides of bowl. Add lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix very briefly until just incorporated. Add heavy cream and again mix just until it's incorporated.
Scrape down sides one last time and pour into springform pan. Fill roasting pan with enough hot tap water to come halfway up sides of pan. Bake until center jiggles slightly, surface is no longer shiny and thermometer reads 150 degrees. It should take about 55-60 minutes. Turn off oven and prop open door wooden spoon handle or potholder. Allow cake to cool like this for 1 hour. Move pan from roasting pan and foil and place on a wire rack. Run a knife around the edges of pan to loosen sides of cake and cool to room temperature, about 2 hours.
Spread enough lemon curd onto cheesecake while it's still in the pan to reach just below the top of the pan. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 hours.
- Microwave lemons for 15-20 seconds to get more juice.
- 5 oz of cookies is 2 of the small boxes or about 75-80 cookies.
- The cheesecake won't get brown at all.
- You can make it the day before, but the longer it sits, the soggier the crust becomes.
- To make cutting easier, place cheesecake overnight in the freezer. Remove about 1 hour before serving and use a sharp knife dipped into hot water and wiped clean between each slice.