Lemon Swirl Cheesecake


photo: eloquentenglish.com

Serves 12

Lemon and cheesecake, two of my favorite flavors, packed into one amazing cheesecake that is gorgeous too! It’s a keeper!

6 whole graham crackers (about 3 ounces)
1 cup walnuts, toasted
3 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest

2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup frozen lemonade concentrate, thawed
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs

1 cup sour cream, room temperature
1 (11 1/4-ounce) jar purchased lemon curd or lemon pie filling
2 1/4-inch-thick lemon slices, each cut into 4 wedges
Mint for garnish, optional

For Crust:
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Finely grind graham crackers in processor. Add nuts; process until coarsely chopped. Add butter and lemon zest; blend using on/off turns just until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs firmly onto bottom (not sides) of 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Bake until crust is set, about 10 minutes. Cool. Maintain oven temperature.

For filling:
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese, sugar, lemonade concentrate and lemon zest in large bowl until smooth. Beat in 3/4 cup sour cream. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Pour filling into crust. Bake until center moves only slightly when pan is shaken, about 50 minutes. Transfer cake to rack; cool 5 minutes.

Meanwhile for topping:
Whisk 1 cup sour cream in small bowl until very smooth. Whisk lemon curd in another small bowl until very smooth.

Run small sharp knife around sides of cake. Starting at outside of edge of cake, spoon small alternating dollops of sour cream and lemon curd side by side in concentric circles atop warm cake, covering cake completely. Gently shake pan to smooth out toppings. Using tip of knife, gently swirl toppings, forming marble design. Chill cake uncovered overnight.

Run small sharp knife around sides of cake to loosen. Release pan sides of cake to loosen. Release pan sides. Transfer cake to platter. Garnish with lemon slices and mint sprigs.

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