Can you think of a better springtime dessert? This cheesecake is rich and creamy, yet light and fresh. Mascarpone cheese combines with cream cheese to bring Italian inspiration to a cream cheese classic. Lemon juice and zest add a citrusy brightness balanced by sugar macerated strawberries garnishing the top.
Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake with Strawberries
An easy version of a timeless classic. Prepare this cake one day before serving.
For the crust:
8 ounces (250 g.) graham crackers or digestive biscuits, in pieces
3 tablespoons brown sugar
1/2 cup (115 g.) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 – 1/4 pound (600 g.) cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup (170 g.) sugar
8 ounces (250 g.) Mascarpone cheese, room temperature
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons lemon zest
For the strawberries:
1 pound (500 g.) strawberries, hulled, halved
3 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 350 F.
Combine graham crackers and brown sugar in bowl of food processor and finely grind. Add butter and blend using on/off turns until crumbs are moist. Press crumbs onto bottom and sides of a 10 inch or 24 cm. diameter springform pan. Chill while preparing filling.
Beat cream cheese and sugar in bowl of electric mixer until light and fluffy. Add mascarpone cheese; beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating 30 seconds after each. Mix in lemon juice and zest.
Pour filling into crust. Bake until cake is puffed at edges and center moves slightly when shaken, about one hour. Transfer to rack and cool completely. Cover and chill overnight.
Toss strawberries with sugar in a bowl. Allow to sit one hour before serving. (Can be prepared 3 hours in advance. Cover and refrigerate. Serve at room temperature.)
To serve cake, run knife around sides of pan to loosen. Release pan sides. Place cake on plate and cut in slices. Serve with strawberries.