Meyer Lemon Cheesecake
Meyer Lemon Curd:
1 c. Meyer lemon juice
4 tsp. Meyer lemon zest
¾ c. sugar
6 large eggs plus 2 egg yolk, room temperature
1½ sticks butter, cut into ½″ chunks
3 (8 oz.) pkg. cream cheese, room temperature
1 c. sugar
4 eggs, room temperature
¼ c. brandy vanilla extract, or 2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Candied Meyer Lemon Slices:
2 Meyer lemons, sliced thinly
1 c. sugar
1 c. water
For the Meyer lemon curd: Whisk together the juice, zest, and sugar in a saucepan over low heat until the sugar dissolves. Whisk the eggs and yolks in another bowl. Once the juice mixture is heated and the sugar is completely dissolved, take approximately 1 cup of the hot liquid and slowly whisk it into the eggs, whisking constantly. Pour the egg mixture slowly into the saucepan, whisking constantly. Add in the butter chunks a half at a time and whisk constantly. Continue whisking, after butter is incorporated, until very thick, about 6 minutes. Remove from heat and pour through a fine mesh strainer into another bowl or other container. Cover the mixture with plastic wrap to prevent a skin from forming and allow to cool 30-40 minutes, then chill for at least an hour or until cold.
For the cheesecake batter: Cream the sugar and cream cheese together in a large bowl until well-blended and the cream cheese has no more lumps. Beat in the eggs and the vanilla, just until smooth and creamy. Cover the bowl and allow the batter to sit overnight.
For the candied lemons: Bring sugar and water to a rolling boil in a medium-size, heavy skillet, stirring to dissolve the sugar. When the liquid is clear and bubbly, reduce heat to medium-low and add the lemon slices in a single layer; simmer until the rinds are translucent. Transfer the lemon slices to baking sheets lined with parchment paper and let cool completely.
To make the cheesecake: Preheat the oven to 325°. Prepare a graham cracker crust and gently press it into the bottom of an assembled 9-inch springform pan; pour the cheesecake batter over the crust. Transfer some of the Meyer lemon curd to a pastry bag fitted with a Bismarck tip (or just use a Ziploc bag with a small hole cut out of one corner) and pipe the curd into the cheesecake batter, making several circles around the pan until you reach the middle. With a toothpick, push the curd down into the cheesecake batter a little more and then cut through the curd and cheesecake to make a pretty pattern, going from the outside of the pan to the middle.
Place the cheesecake into a large cake pan or roasting pan and fill the outside pan halfway with water. Place the pan into the preheated oven and bake until the cheesecake is almost set, approximately 1 hour and 45 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it continue to sit in the water bath for about a half hour; remove the springform pan from the water bath and place in the refrigerator to finish cooling. When the cheesecake is completely cooled, slice it into the desired number of pieces and serve garnished with a little bit of the Meyer lemon curd and some candied Meyer lemon slices.