Today our contributor Melina of Sugary & Buttery offers up the perfect cheesecake recipe. It’s a bold statement to make, but trust us on this one— better yet, try out the recipe yourself! Even without the candied lemons and syrup, this would be one decadent treat. The toppings just take it to the next level! Here’s what Melina has to say:
“Oh my, this is such a dense and creamy cheesecake! You only get this kind of richness when you bake your cheesecake New York style. I admit, it is quite a process and takes a little more time than a regular cheesecake, but it is definitely more than worth the time and effort. SO good! The coconut cream added to the filling gives this cake just the perfect hint of coconut without being overpowering. And the sweet and sour candied lemons and lemon syrup on top… don’t get me started! It’s the perfect flavor combination. Just dive in and enjoy!”
NEW YORK STYLE COCONUT CHEESECAKE WITH CANDIED LEMONS
—8 graham crackers
—4 tablespoons butter, melted
—1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
—4 packs (2 lb) cream cheese
—1.5 cups sugar
—1/3 cup flour
—1 cup coconut cream
—3 large eggs
—1 cup water
—1 cup sugar
1. Start with the candied lemons. Slice the lemon in very thin slices. Bring sugar and 1 cup water to a boil in a large (8-9 inch) skillet until sugar is dissolved. When liquid is clear and bubbling, reduce heat to medium-low.
2. Add lemon slices, arranging them in one layer with tongs. Simmer (do not let boil!) until lemons turn slightly dark, about 30 minutes. Remove the lemons and let them cool on parchment paper, uncovered, until ready to serve. Bring the syrup back to a boil for another 15 minutes. Set aside and let cool.
3. Grease an 8 inch cheese cake pan or (even better) spring form pan and preheat oven to 350 °F.
4. To make the crust, process graham crackers in food processor until fine and combine them with the melted butter and lemon zest. Transfer mixture to the cake pan and pat into an even layer using a coffee or pie tamper or a meat pounder. Bake until the crust is firm to the touch and deeply golden brown, about 15 minutes. Transfer pan to a wire rack to cool completely.
5. In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes.
6. In a separate bowl, whisk together sugar and flour. With mixer on low speed, gradually add sugar mixture to cream cheese.
7. Add coconut cream and mix until smooth.
8. Add eggs, one at a time, and beat until just combined.
9. Pour cream cheese filling on top of the baked crust and wrap the sides and bottom of the pan in foil. Set the pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan and carefully pour boiling water into the roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of your cake pan.
10. Bake for 45 minutes and then reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees. Continue baking until the cake is set but still slightly wobbly in the center, for about another 45 minutes. If the cake starts to turn brown on top, just cover it with foil.
11. Turn off the oven and leave the cake in oven with the door slightly open, for about 1 hour.
12. Transfer pan to a wire rack and let the cake cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, at least 6 hours or overnight. This will help the cake set and firm up.
13. Run a knife around the edge of the cake and remove from your pan.
14. Decorate your cake with the candied lemons and pour the syrup on top. Serve!