Icebox Cheesecake with Lemon Curd

AKA Lazy Lemon Cheesecake that will never fail you. 

You know there are your go to recipes that never fail that folks come to know you for and request when they get the chance. This is that cake. I have to say this has won awards at family reunions too. A colleague was picking my brain for ideas to woo her family and take home a prize. After asking a few questions, like "who going to be the jury" I suggested this recipe. Seems patriarchs love lemon cheesecake.

This is one of my summer favorites. Lemon is a fresh flavor and in a creamy cool cheesecake it's terrific. 

There are three components, the crust, the curd and the filling. I don't know about you but I'll use ingredients in the house and avoid going to the store if I can, the crusts of my cheesecakes are often victims of laziness, but I'll put the optimal recipe below. Just know this is a lovely recipe and adapts well to your whims-like using any cookies you have in the house or graham crackers...

What I love about this cake is that it can all be done in a food processor. Frankly, that's the only way I've ever made it. I suppose one could go medieval and pound stuff with a mortar and pestle but I'll pass.  

Spray a springform pan with vegetable spray or coat with melted butter. 

1.5 cups Lemon wafer cookies-Like Nilla Wafers but lemon flavored
2 T. butter, melted
1 tsp. lemon zest

Whirl this all together in a food processor. Press into the pan and tap down with a flat bottomed utensil or cup. Refrigerate. 

2 eggs
2 egg yolks
0.5 cup sugar
pinch of salt
4 T. unsalted butter
2 T. heavy cream
0.25 cup lemon juice
1 tsp. lemon zest, finely minced. 

In a saucepan combine eggs, yolks, sugar and salt and mix lightly. Add the butter and cream. Heat on medium heat and stir constantly with a rubber spatula, scrapping the bottom of the pan. When you get a bright, thick (jam like) consistency, remove from heat. If you want to fuss, put through a strainer. No one will call you names if you don't. Add the lemon juice and zest after you strain it. Cool. 

.25 cup lemon juice
1 envelope unflavored gelatin (scant tablespoon)

1.5 pounds cream cheese, room temperature
.75 cup sugar
pinch of salt
1.25 cups heavy cream

Put the lemon juice in a small container. Sprinkle with gelatin. Let sit 5 minutes to bloom. Find a second container which is larger and fill with very hot water. Set the lemon gelatin container in the hot water. Let sit 5 -10 minutes while you mix the rest of the filling. You'll see the mixture go from cloudy to clear...that's the gelatin loosening. Make sure the gelatin is completely liquid before using. 

In a clean bowl for the food processor combine the cream cheese, sugar and salt. Blend and scrape the sides  and repeat until it is smooth. Add the heavy cream. Whirl and scrape a few times. Add 1/2 the curd mixture now. Blend. Add the gelatin, whirl and scrape. Without much delay pour the filling into the pan. It should set quickly within 10 minutes. 

Top the cake with the remaining curd. If you want a swirly layer like what you see above do it quickly while the filling layer hasn't set. If you want a solid yellow layer, let the cake set and chill before adding the remaining curd. Chill a few hours before serving. 

What I love about this cake is that the curd does all the work. It's such a powerful and joyful flavor it carries the day. 

Do you have family reunions with cooking competitions? If so what steals the show? I have to say I'm a little jealous of my friend. My family is small.