Chef Tom Small of Tacoma's Boathouse 19
This is a very rich cheesecake topped with house-made lemon curd and a graham cracker crust. We put the crust on top so it stays lightly packed and can be part of each bite of the dessert. This recipe can be easily doubled or halved.
Cream Cheese Base
Combine cheese, sugar, vanilla and lemon juice and mix on low speed until well incorporated, about 2 minutes. Scrape down sides of bowl. With the machine running, add eggs one at a time, making sure to fully incorporate eggs into cheese mixture and scraping bowl down occasionally. (Cheese and eggs must be at room temperature for this to work well. Scraping down the bowl will prevent lumps of cream cheese in the mixture.)
Fill each jar three-fourths full with cream cheese base. The base should come just below the round lid threading. Each jar should hold 3/4 cup filling. Bake at 275 degrees in a hot water bath until cheesecakes are set, about 11 to 14 minutes. They should be 150 degrees at the center of the cheesecake. Cool completely, then refrigerate.
Combine egg yolks, sugar, lemon juice and zest in a non-reactive saucepan over medium high heat, whisking constantly. Cook until boiling in the center. Remove from heat and whisk in butter, a few pieces at a time. Cool completely and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
Graham Cracker Crust
Combine graham cracker, sugar and melted butter in a large bowl and stir to combine well.
Spoon about 2 tablespoons of Lemon Curd over top of cooled cheese cakes and spread evenly. Spoon 1 1/2 tablespoons of Graham Cracker Crust over curd and put lids on jars for service.
To plate, remove lid from cheesecake jar and place on a small round plate.
Chef's note: To soften cream cheese, put it in a zip-lock bag and drop it in a bowl of hot water.
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