Let me tell you, this was one amazing cheesecake! I used crispy lemon cookies in the crust, lemon juice and lemon zest in the filling, and lemon curd spread on top, so the lemon flavor came through really well. The coconut flavor was much more subtle, although I used toasted coconut in the crust and coconut milk in the filling. Nonetheless, I did think that the coconut milk mellowed things out and balanced the filling. I'd like to try an all-coconut cheesecake sometime, as I think all the lemon may have just overpowered the coconut.
Meyer Lemon-Coconut Cheesecake
90 g crispy lemon cookies (about 1 cup crumbs)
1 cup toasted unsweetened coconut
1/2 stick butter, melted
2 T sugar
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup coconut milk (shake well before measuring)
3 T Meyer lemon juice
2 T Meyer lemon zest
1/2 vanilla bean, scraped
Store-bought or homemade lemon curd
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan (I used a 9-inch springform pan). You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add coconut milk, vanilla, lemon juice, and zest and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour hot water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, top with lemon curd and serve.
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