So let’s talk crust. Generally with these types of desserts, one would opt for a graham cracker crust. The original recipe called for Nilla wafers. I immediately thought to add Biscoff cookies, which have a distinct crisp and beautiful brown sugar flavor.
To up the ante on looks, I also did some quick and dirty candied lemons. Just equal parts sugar and water dissolved and simmering until the lemon slices are translucent. Let these dry overnight or in a low temperature oven.
Recipe adapted from Fine Cooking from Abigail Johnson Dodge
For the filling:
- Three 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup ricotta
- Kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 3/4 cups lemon curd
For the crust:
- 6 ounces vanilla wafers, crushed
- 4 ounces Biscoff cookies, crushed
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 375° F.
- In a medium bowl, stir together the Nilla wafer and Biscoff cookie crumbs and granulated sugar. Mix in the melted butter until the crumbs are all moist and clump together slightly when you press them.
- Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch springform pan and use the bottom of a glass or a measuring cup to press it evenly onto the bottom and about 2 inches up the sides of the pan.
- Bake until the crust is fragrant and slightly darker, 9 to 12 minutes. Let the pan cool on a rack and lower the oven temperature to 300° F.
- With a hand-mixer or in a stand mixer with a paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, ricotta, flour, and a pinch of salt on medium speed, scraping down the sides of the bowl frequently, until very smooth and fluffy about 5 minutes. Make sure the cheese is lump-free.
- Add the sugar and continue beating until fully blended and smooth.
- Add the lemon zest and vanilla and beat until incorporated, about 30 seconds. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until just blended.
- Pour the filling into the cooled crust and smooth the top. Bake at 300° F until the center jiggles when nudged, 55 to 65 minutes. The cake should be a little puffy around the edges and moist in the center.
- Set on a rack and cool completely, then cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hours and up to 3 days.
- When ready to serve, unclasp the springform pan and remove the side. Run a long, thin metal spatula under the bottom crust of the cheesecake.
- Spread lemon curd evenly over the top of the cheesecake and garnish with candied lemon slices.