For this cover-worthy Earl Grey Lemon Cheesecake, a crisp gingerbread crust shelters velvety filling that includes flecks of color from loose tea and a subtle infusion of flavor from tea-steeped cream. The mixture also benefits from the brightening addition of lemon zest. Blooms and berries crown this pièce de resistance, where the citrusy notes of our highlighted blend shine.
Earl Grey Lemon Cheesecake
Makes 1 (9-inch) cheesecake
- ¼ cup heavy whipping cream, room temperature
- 4 Earl Grey tea bags
- 2 cups gingersnap crumbs
- ¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1½ plus 2½ tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, divided
- 3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, cubed and softened
- 2 tablespoons loose-leaf Earl Grey, finely ground
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest
- 3 large eggs, room temperature
- ¾ cup sour cream, room temperature
- Garnish: edible flowers, fresh blueberries
- In a medium saucepan, heat cream over medium heat just until bubbles form around edges of pan (do not boil). Remove from heat and add tea bags; cover and let steep for 20 minutes. Remove tea bags, squeezing to extract as much liquid as possible. Refrigerate until chilled, about 30 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 350°. Spray bottom of a 9-inch springform pan with baking spray with flour; line bottom of pan with parchment paper.
- In a large bowl, stir together gingersnap crumbs, melted butter, 2½ tablespoons sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt until well combined. Using a straight-sided measuring cup, press crumb mixture into bottom and up sides of prepared pan.
- Bake until set and fragrant, 8 to 10 minutes; let cool on a wire rack for 30 minutes. Wrap bottom and sides of pan in a double layer of heavy-duty foil.
- Reduce oven temperature to 325°.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese and loose-leaf Earl Grey at medium speed until smooth and creamy, 2 to 3 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Add remaining 1½ cups sugar, flour, lemon zest, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt; beat at low speed just until combined. Increase mixer speed to medium, and beat until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until combined after each addition. Add sour cream and chilled infused cream; beat at medium-low speed until well combined, 1 to 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl. Pour cream cheese mixture into prepared crust.
- Place pan in a large roasting pan. Carefully place roasting pan in oven and add hot water to a depth of 1 inch.
- Bake until edges are set, top looks dry, center is almost set, and an instant-read thermometer inserted in center registers 150° to 155°, 1 hour and 15 minutes to 1 hour and 30 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 1 hour and 30 minutes to 2 hours.
- Refrigerate in pan on a wire rack overnight, loosely covering with foil to prevent condensation from forming on top of cheesecake. Run a knife around edges of cheesecake to release sides. Transfer to a serving plate. Use a warm dry knife to slice when ready to serve. Garnish with edible flowers and blueberries, if desired.
To find more Earl Grey–infused recipes, see “Sweet Tastes of Bergamot” in the September 2022 issue, available on newsstands and at victoriamag.com.