Happy belated National Cheesecake Day! Yup, that's right, yesterday was a day entirely devoted to the consumption of cheesecake Did it somehow slip by you? Well no matter, because I'm here to share with you this luscious mascarpone-based version. Even if you happen to not be a huge cheesecake fan like yours truly (please don't hate me) I think you're going to love it. I certainly did and it's been one of the most popular desserts to have come out of my kitchen in recent weeks. A true crowd pleaser!!
A few weeks ago my mom brought over several containers of mascarpone cheese and dropped them in my fridge while I was out. Not sure what she had originally planned to use them for but I was certainly happy to be the recipient and had been looking for a good way to put them to use. I came across this easy recipe for a mascarpone cheesecake just when I was trying what to decide to make for a big family get together and voila!! All of a sudden the planets aligned and thank goodness they did, because this is one terrific cheesecake!! The addition of the mascarpone to what is a fairly traditional cream cheese cheesecake batter, makes the filling incredibly light and creamy. Yum!!
And if you've ever shied away from making cheesecake because of the hassles of a water bath, this is the cake for you. No water bath necessary and no cracking either. The cake puffs up during the bake and then settles down during the cooling process.
And even if it does crack a bit, you cover the top with a delightfully creamy sour cream topping and some reserved vanilla wafer crust crumbs, so the final product is a thing of beauty no matter what!
In every bite you get crunchy, buttery vanilla wafer crust topped with that wonderful cheesecake filling enhanced by notes of vanilla and lemon. Totally irresistible!! I think this might just be my go-to cheesecake recipe for forever...or at least until my next favorite comes around!!
So bake up this delightful concoction because...well...it's really your patriotic duty to celebrate this important national holiday (that's my story and I'm sticking to it!!)
Prep Time for Crust: 15 minutes; Prep Time for Filling: 10 minutes; Bake Time: 35-40 minutes; Chilling Time: At least 8 hours
For the crust
- 70 vanilla wafers (8 1/2 ounces) I used 'Nilla Wafers, finely ground in a food processor
- 10 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and slightly cooled, plus more butter for greasing the pan
For the Filling
- 20 ounces brick cream cheese (2 1/2 8 ounce packages), softened
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese at room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
For the topping
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
- 1/8 teaspoon salt
1. To make the crust: Make sure rack is centered in oven and preheat to 350ºF. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan generously. In a small bowl, mix together the cookie crumbs and butter. Set 1/4 cup of the mixture aside for sprinkling on the cheesecake at the end. Press the rest of the mixture evenly over the sides and the bottom of the pan. Place the pan on a rimmed baking sheet and place into the oven. Bake for about 10 minutes, until the crust is golden. Cool completely on a rack on the pan, about 25 minutes. Leave the oven on.
2. While the crust is baking you can make the filling. Using an electric mixer beat the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar together in a large bowl at medium-high speed until fluffy for about 4-5 minutes. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Then add in the vanilla, lemon juice and salt and turn the mixer to low speed, beating until combined. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake the cake on the pan until the cake is set and puffed around the edges, about 35-40 minutes. The center should still tremble slightly when you shake it. If it's still very jiggly, bake it some more.
3. Cool the cake for 20 minutes on a wire rack and leave the oven on.
4. To make the topping: Place all the ingredients in a small bowl and stir together. Spoon over the cheesecake and spread it out evenly, leaving a 1/4 inch border around the edges. Return to the oven for about 10 minutes, until the topping is set. Remove from the oven, return to the wire rack and run a butter knife around the edges to help prevent it from cracking. Sprinkle the top with the reserved crumbs and let the cake cool completely in the pan on the rack. When cool, wrap the cake well and chill for at least 8 hours and up to 3 days. Cut into wedges and serve.
Note: Recipe adapted from Epicurious. I added a little more lemon juice to the filling.