Turtle Cheesecake with Chocolate, Caramel and Pecans to be the best cheesecake I have ever tasted. Well, there is a new cake in town. We had some friends over for dinner and I wanted to make something a little different. Fruit was requested over chocolate and I looked around for inspiration.
Naturally, I couldn't leave well enough alone. The brown sugar and almond crust combined with a seriously kicked up lemon flavor to create a dessert that far exceeded my expectations. The lemon changes everything, this is like no other cheesecake I've tasted before. The layers are unexpected and the sweetly tart lemon glaze balanced the barely sweetened sour cream layer and a less than traditionally sweet cheesecake. I absolutely LOVED this dessert.
The comments ranged from "ah-ma-zing" to "what are the layers? these are awesome!" to "phenomenal crust" to "the glaze on top absolutely makes this cheesecake." Hyperbole and excessive enthusiasm aside, this is a FANTASTIC dessert that jumped immediately to the top of my Favorite Sweets List.
Layered Lemon Cheesecake with Brown Sugar Almond Crust
recipe adapted from the Junior League of Denver's Cookbook and Creative-Culinary
Yield: 12-16 servings
1 1/2 cups almond flour
1/4 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons melted butter
24 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest, finely minced, this was the zest from 1 large lemon
Sour Cream Topping Ingredients:
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup sugar
2 tablespoons arrowroot or cornstarch
1/2 cup water
6 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the almond flour, brown sugar and butter in a small bowl and stir to combine. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 10" springform pan*. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool 30-45 minutes before adding filling.
Beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on high speed until it is completely smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until smooth after each addition. Slowly add the sugar, beating until smooth and then adding the lemon juice and vanilla. Beat again and then stir in the lemon zest.
Pour over the cooled crust and bake for 35 minutes, until set, but not browned. Stir together the sour cream and the sugar and let rest on the counter while the cheesecake is baking. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and gently spread the sour cream mixture over the top. Return to the oven and bake 12 more minutes.
Remove from the oven and cool on a wire rack for half an hour. Then transfer to the refrigerator and cool for about an hour, until the topping is cool, but not completely chilled. While the cake is chilling, make the final glaze. Combine the sugar and arrowroot in a small saucepan. Whisk in the water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, whisking constantly until thickened. Cook 1 minute and then let cool.
Pour the cooled glaze over the cool cheesecake and spread to cover completely. Chill overnight. Top with a mountain of berries just before serving, if desired. Enjoy!
* I've also made this into (5) 3-4" cheesecakes. The baking times are adjusted as follows, the crust baking time is 6-7 minutes. The filling baking time is approximately 25 minutes. The sour cream layer baking time is 12 minutes.
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