Sunday, March 31, 2013

Lemon Swirl Cheesecake With Toasted Hazelnut Shortbread Crust

6 TBS butter, softened
1 c. flour
1/3 c. sugar
1/3 c. ground toasted hazelnuts

4 - 8oz packages of Neufchatel cream cheese, softened
1 c. granulated sugar
1/4 c. flour
2 TBS cold whipping cream
2 tsp pure vanilla
4 large eggs

1 - 10 oz jar Dickenson's Lemon Curd, divided

Preheat oven to 325. Place one rack on bottom level, one in center. Lightly butter the sides only of a 9-in. springform pan. Place on a double thickness square of heavy-duty foil. Securely wrap foil around bottom & sides (about 1/4 inch up) of pan.

In a small bowl, soften butter (do NOT melt); add the flour, sugar and hazelnuts; mix with fork until crumbly. Gently press onto the bottom of prepared springform pan. Bake in preheated oven for 12-14 minutes. Remove from oven & set to cool slightly on wire rack.

Pour water into an 8-inch metal pie pan until half full. Place on bottom rack of oven after baked crust is removed. (This will keep the cheesecake from cracking when it bakes.)

In a large electric mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugars on medium speed until smooth & creamy. Add flour, whipping cream & vanilla; beat until well combined & smooth. Add eggs one at a time; beating on low speed of mixer until well blended.

Spoon cheesecake batter over crust, spreading evenly. Gently spoon lemon curd by heaping tablespoons around batter with one dollop in the center, reserving 2 ounces. With sharp knife, swirl lemon curd around batter; it will sink in slightly.

Place cheesecake pan on center rack of oven. Bake at 325° for 1-1/4 to 1-1/2 hours or until center is just set and top appears evenly dull. The top of the cheesecake should be at an even height & turning just lightly golden around the edges.

Remove cheesecake from oven & set on a wire rack to cool. Loosen sides from pan with a knife; cool 1-1/2 hours.

Spoon remaining lemon curd over the top of the cheesecake; smooth with the back of a spoon. Refrigerate several hours or overnight until cheesecake is well chilled. Carefully remove sides of springform pan.

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