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Meyer Lemon and Orange Swirled Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes

Citrus Swirled Vanilla Bean Cheesecake

from Back to the Cutting Board

Dessert | Yield: 10″ cheesecake or six 4.5″ cheesecakes (see small size baking instructions)
Prep time: 45 min | Cook time: 3 hour 10 min | Total time: 5 hours


Citrus Curd:
If using a normal lemon or other tart citrus, increase the sugar to 3/4 cup.

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice, orange juice or other citrus juice
  • 2 large eggs
  • Zest of 2 lemons or 1 large orange
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1/4 cup (2 oz.) unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

2 cups of crumbs is fine if you only want crust on the bottom. Use 3 cups if you want sides.

  • 2 to 3 cups finely ground graham crackers
  • 6 to 8 tbsp. of butter
  • 1/3 cup of sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. salt

If you love vanilla bean or if your beans are thin, feel free to add another bean for more flavor.

  • 5 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, room temperature
  • 5 eggs, room temperature
  • 2 egg yolks, room temperature
  • 2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise and seeds scraped (or 2 tsp. vanilla extract)
  • 1 3/4 cups sugar
  • 2 tbsp. flour
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream, room temperature


Make the Citrus Curd:

  1. Place a mesh strainer over a bowl and set aside.
  2. In a saucepan whisk together sugar, juice, eggs and zest. Set the pan over low heat, add in butter and continue whisking until melted.
  3. Increase heat slightly to medium-low, continue cooking, whisking constantly, until the curd thickens and starts to look like jelly. It should be 160 degrees F. This will take about 10 to 15 minutes.
  4. Remove from heat and immediately pour through the strainer. Cover and store in the fridge until chilled. This can also be made ahead of time since the curd will keep in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Make the Cheesecake:

  1. Get out cream cheese, eggs and cream ahead of time and let come to room temperature. If your cream cheese is really cold this can take 6+ hours. When you’re ready to start baking, preheat the oven to 350 degrees (F).
  2. Grind up crackers in a blender or food processor if necessary. Mix crumbs, sugar, salt and butter in a bowl until combined and press into the bottom and if you want, about an inch or two up the sides of a 10″ springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Take out and cool completely. Turn off the oven.
  3. In a mixer bowl with the whisk attachment, whisk together the softened cream cheese, eggs, egg yolks and vanilla paste. Mix on medium speed until smooth, about 3-5 minutes. (It’s okay if you still have some very small lumps.)
  4. Add in the sugar, flour and heavy cream and and mix on low speed until fully incorporated, about 1-2 minutes. Do not over-mix as this will create more air bubbles which can contribute to your cake cracking.
  5. Pour half of the batter into the prepared pan. Drop spoonfuls of the citrus curd on top and gently swirl with the tip of a knife. Repeat with remaining batter and curd. You won’t necessarily use all the curd, add as much or little as you want! Gently tap the pan against your counter a few times to help get any possible air bubbles out of the batter.
  6. Place cheesecake in your oven and then turn it on to 400 degrees (F).

    Full size: Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200 degrees (F). Bake for 3 hours. Then turn the oven off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 1 hour. Finally, cover the top with plastic wrap, place in your refrigerator and chill for a full 24 hours.

    Small size: Bake for 5 minutes. Turn the oven down to 200 degrees (F). Bake for 45 minutes. Then turn the oven off, prop open the door slightly and let cool for 15 minutes. Finally, cover the top with plastic wrap, place in your refrigerator and chill for at least 12 hours.

  7. Remove springform pan and serve.

Recipe Notes

If you have leftover cheesecake batter or you want to make even smaller cheesecakes, you can also make this recipe in cupcake tins with foil cupcake liners. Bake for 5 minutes at 400 degrees (F). Turn the oven down to 200 degrees (F) and bake for 30 minutes. Immediately remove from oven to cool. You don’t need to bake the crust for cupcake-sized cheesecakes.

If you want to half the recipe, use 3 blocks of cream cheese and 3 whole eggs instead of a combo of eggs and egg yolks.

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Meyer Lemon or Orange Swirled Vanilla Bean Cheesecakes



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