Diana's Favorite Lemon Mousse Cheesecake
- 18 graham crackers crushed
- 1/2 cup melted butter
- 1/4 cup sugar, plus 1 1/4 cups sugar, plus 1/4 cup sugar
- 3 large lemons
- 4 eggs, separated
- 24 ounces softened cream cheese, 3 (8-ounce) packages
- 1/3 cup flour
- Lemon curd, recipe follows
Adjust oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Combine crushed graham crackers, melted butter and 1/4 cup sugar. Press graham cracker crust in the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan coming up about 1-inch on the sides. Seal the outside of the pan with foil and set in a baking dish. Add water to the baking dish to come 1-inch up the sides. Bake crust for 10 minutes.
Zest lemons until you have 1 tablespoon of lemon zest. Place zest in a small bowl and set aside. Squeeze the lemons to acquire 3/4 cup lemon juice and set aside.
In a mixing bowl, using an electric mixer, with paddle, beat cream cheese until smooth. Gradually add 1 1/4 cups sugar and continue to beat until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Add egg yolks, flour, lemon juice, and zest and beat until smooth.
In a separate mixing bowl, whip the egg whites to soft peaks. Add remaining sugar to the egg whites and continue to whip until stiff peaks have formed. Fold the egg whites into the lemon batter. Pour batter into the crust. Bake cheesecake until set and golden, about 55 to 65 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool in the pan on a cooling rack, about 4 hours. Once cooled, refrigerate uncovered until chilled. Add pre-made lemon curd on top of cheesecake. Loosen sides with a cake spatula before unmolding and serve. Note: You can freeze this cake up to 1 month.