For the Crust, you will need
8-9 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)
1 cup of nuts. I used raw pistachios, which I toasted off first. But Almonds and Pecans also work.
2 tablespoons regular fine white sugar
5 tablespoon Turbinado
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Pinch of salt
For the Filling
1 8-ounce package of cream cheese, room temperature
1 8-ounce container of marscapone cheese (or substitute another 8-ounce package of cream cheese)
3/4 cup sugar fine white sugar
2 large eggs
Pinch of salt
Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon (2 to 3 teaspoons zest and about 3 tablespoons juice). If using Meyer you may need to check for tartness. This also works for Orange and limes
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
Note – this crust is made in two parts!
- Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. You can fold the extra foil over the edges.
- I don’t recommend using a foil pan for this. They are too thin and bend when moving. You want the solid stability of the hard pan.
- In a food processor, blend 5 graham crackers, 1/2 cup of nuts with 2 tablespoons of fine sugar until finely ground; add 2 tablespoons of the butter and pulse until it looks like damp sand.
- Transfer the first level of crumb mixture to prepared pan, and pat in gently. Bake 6-7 min
- In the same food processor, blend remaining 3 graham crackers with the remaining 1/2 cup of nuts and 4 tablespoons of turbinado sugar until finely ground; add the remaining 1 tablespoon of the butter and pulse until moistened.
- Add the layer to the prebaked layer. Pat firm, sprinkle on the remaining 1 tablespoon of turbinado sugar. Bake until beginning to brown, another 7- 10 minutes.
While crust is baking, Make the filling:
- Place the 16 ounces cream cheese in the (wipe processor bowl clean first) food processor; blend until smooth. Add sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice; blend
- When ready, remove the crust from the oven and pour the mixture on the top layer over the hot crust in pan; smooth top.
- Return to oven, and bake until set (filling should jiggle only slightly when the pan is gently shaken), 35-45 minutes.
- Remove from the oven and cool completely in pan.
- When cool, cover very loosely with plastic wrap; chill until firm, at least 2 hours (and up to 2 days).
- Use foil overhang to lift cheesecake out of the pan. With metal spatula, lift cheesecake from foil; cut into squares.
- You can sprinkle confectionary sugar or top with candied lemon peels etc.