December 27, 2011

Simply Perfect Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust {Naptime Entertaining}


The Occasion: Christmas dinner!

Menu: Beef Wellington Short Rib Pot Pie, Twice-Baked Potatoes, Carrot Souffle, Green Beans with Caramelized Shallots, Parmesan Dinner Rolls, Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust

Attendees: Party of 7, plus three dogs!

Naptime Goals: Too many to count, but they include making the cheesecake.

KITCHEN AID MIXER GIVEAWAY! Don’t forget to enter below to enter the Duda Farm Fresh Giveaway for a Meyer Lemons, a $25 Williams-Sonoma giftcard and a KitchenAid Artisan 5-Quart Stand Mixer in Majestic Yellow. Entry rules below, click here for contest introduction.

Meyer lemons have dominated my kitchen this month. They are finally in season (I wait all year!) and my friends at Duda Farm Fresh foods kindly sent me a big boxful to work with. For Christmas dinner this year I decided to make a Meyer lemon cheesecake instead of my usual eggnog version. My family, especially my father, adores cheesecake and anything lemony so I knew he would be especially enthusiastic about this addition to the menu.

The beauty of this cheesecake is that it can be made a few days in advance of when you want to serve it. I made this one morning two days before Christmas when my daughter was at a playdate. I didn’t realize it at the time, but I think this actually help improve the flavor the cake. It stayed in our fridge, untouched, for two days and during that time the lemony flavor developed from subtle hints of lemon to bright bursting citrus. When we finally dug in it tasted like we were eating lemon cheesecake and we loved it.

After Christmas dinner I served up slices to everyone and topped them with some of the strawberry simple syrup I preserved last summer. It was a festive, delicious treat for everyone and may just become a new dessert tradition.

Rules for Homemade Gift Giveaway & KitchenAid mixer grand prize!:

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4. Visit Duda’s website and tell me what recipe you would like to try to make using meyer lemons (use the ‘Older Entries’ link at the bottom of the page to view even more recipes). Leave a comment telling me which recipe.

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9. Weekly winners will be announced on Sunday December 11th at 7:00am ET, Sunday December 18th at 7:00am ET, and Monday December 26th at 7:00am ET. The GRAND PRIZE drawing for the KitchenAid mixer will be announced on December 30th at 7:00opm.

10. All winners will be selected by Each week the contest for the Meyer Lemon Tote and $25 giftcard will start fresh. Entries from the previous week will not be considered. The grand prize drawing pool will include all entries from the start of the contest on December 5th at 7:00amET through December 29th at 9:00pm ET.

Disclosure: I received the same products the winner will receive. The items were generously donated by Duda Farm Fresh Foods but the opinions and recipe expressed are entirely my own.


 Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Gingersnap Crust


For the crust:

2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
4 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled

For the cheesecake:

2 pounds (4 8-ounce boxes) cream cheese, room temperature
1 ½ cups sugar
1 pinch kosher salt
4 large eggs, room temperature
1 ¼ cups sour cream, well-stirred
3 Meyer lemons, juiced and zested



1. Preheat the oven to 350F. Butter and bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan and set aside.

2. Make the crust by combined the cookie crumbs, sugar and butter in a small bowl. Stir well until everything is evenly moistened. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the springform pan and up the edges. The crust will go about halfway up the edges. Bake the crust for about 10 minutes, or until golden and lightly toasted. Remove from the oven and allow to cool. Reduce the heat to 325F.

3. While the crust is baking beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add the sugar and beat again for 3 minutes. With the mixer running add the eggs one a time, beating for one full minute between additions, then beat in the lemon zest, juice and sour cream. Beat the mixture well, until everything is incorporated and the mixture is completely smooth.

4. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with aluminum foil, then pour the smooth cheesecake batter into the cooled crust. Place the wrapped springform pan in a large pan that can hold enough water that will go halfway up the sides of the springform pan. I usually use my roasting pan for this, a deep baking dish will work well too. Pour boiling water into the outer pan and allow it to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Carefully lift the pan into the oven and bake for 1 hour and 20 minutes, or until the top has risen and the top is light browned. It is OK if it cracks a little bit. Turn off the oven heat and prop the door open with a wooden spoon. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour.

5. After an hour remove the cheesecake and allow it to cool at room temperature for another hour. Then cover it with plastic wrap and chill for at least 6 hours before serving.

Naptime Notes

Naptime Recipe Serving ideas

This was perfect for our Christmas dinner and would be fabulous with a berry, caramel or hot fudge sauce served over it.


Naptime Stopwatch

30 minutes prep time, 1 hour 30 minutes bake time

Naptime Reviews

A hit all around!