Lemon Bar Cheesecake


(Serves 10)

2 cups vanilla wafers, finely crushed
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted


3 (8 oz) packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
Sea salt
1 1/4 cups granulated sugar
2 tablespoons lemon zest, finely grated
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature


3/4 cup lemon curd
Confectioners' sugar


Position a rack in center of oven; preheat oven to 375°F.

Stir together, in medium bowl, vanilla wafer crumbs and 3 tablespoons sugar. Mix in melted butter, until crumbs are evenly moist and clump together slightly. Transfer mix to a 9-inch spring form pan. Press evenly onto bottom and about 2 inches up sides of pan. Bake 9–12 minutes, until crust is fragrant and slightly darkened. Remove from oven; set aside to cool slightly. Lower oven temperature to 300°F.

For the filling:
Beat together, in stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment, cream cheese, ricotta, flour, and salt on medium speed about 5 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl and paddle frequently, until very smooth and fluffy. Make sure filling has no lumps. Add sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth. Add lemon zest and vanilla, and beat about 30 seconds, until blended. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until blended. (Don’t overbeat once eggs have been added or cheesecake will puff too much and crack as it cools.) Pour filling into cooled crust and smooth top.

Bake at 300°F, 55–65 minutes, until center jiggles slightly when nudged. The cheesecake will be slightly puffed around edges, and center will still look moist. Set on a rack and cool completely. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.

Unclasp and carefully remove sides of spring form pan. Run a long, thin metal spatula under bottom crust of cheesecake. Carefully slide onto a flat serving plate.

For the garnish:
Spread lemon curd evenly over top of cheesecake. Sift confectioners' sugar evenly over cake and serve immediately. (To cut, run a thin knife under hot water, wipe it dry, and cut cake into slices, heating and wiping knife after every slice.