lemon sour cream cheesecake with strawberry glaze

The grocery stores seem to be inundated with lemons lately. Every time I walk through the produce section I can’t help but crave lemony desserts. I made these lemon bars when I last had that craving, but after eating way too many of them, I decided that I needed to make a dessert that wouldn’t be so addictive.

I like cheesecake, but it’s not my favorite dessert. I lean more towards chocolate desserts. Or lemon bars. My husband, on the other hand, adores cheesecake. So, I figured I’d get to satisfy my lemon dessert craving with a slice, and he’d benefit too. Plus, he’s always happy to taste-test experimental dessert recipes for me.

I wanted to make this with Meyer lemons, but I couldn’t find any at the grocery store on the day I made this. I also wanted to use marscapone cheese, but I couldn’t find that either. I used what I had on hand — regular lemons instead of Meyers and sour cream instead of marscapone.

The cheesecake turned out very light, with a perfect lemon flavor – and a bit of a tanginess – that was balanced perfectly with the sweet strawberry glaze on top. Craving (and husband) satisfied.

lemon cheesecake

Lemon Sour Cream Cheesecake



1/2 cup butter, room temperature
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup ground shortbread cookies [I used Keebler Sandies.]


24 ounces cream cheese (3 packages)
8 ounces sour cream
3 eggs
1 cup sugar
3 teaspoons lemon zest
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice


Crust preparation:

Using an electric mixer, cream butter and sugar on medium high speed for 3 to 4 minutes. Add flour and ground shortbread cookies and blend for 3 to 4 seconds until fully incorporated. Press the mixture into a 9-inch springform pan. Bake crust at 350 degrees for 20 to 25 minutes, or until golden brown. Allow the crust to cool completely. When cool, wrap bottom and sides of the springform pan tightly with aluminum foil in preparation for cooking cheesecake in a water bath.

Cheesecake preparation:

Using an electric mixer (hand-held or stand mixer), beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy. Add the sour cream and sugar and continue to beat on medium speed. Add the eggs one at a time. Blend in the lemon zest and lemon juice. Pour mixture into cooled crust.

Set the cheesecake into a roasting pan, and add enough water to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Place in a 325 degree oven for 1 hour and 15 minutes, or until the cake is set and the top is golden. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and let cool on a wire rack. After it has cooled slightly, chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.

For the strawberry glaze:

Puree two cups of hulled strawberries until smooth. Combine strawberry puree with 2/3 cup sugar and 1 tablespoon cornstarch in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly. Reduce heat to low, cook for 1 minute, then remove from heat and let cool to room temperature, stirring occasionally.

Adapted from this recipe from Epicurious, by Chef James Irby.

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9 Responses to “learning to do nothing, and a recipe: blueberry and cherry buckle”

  1. Vicki S. — July 16, 2012 @ 3:00 pm

    I needed this today! Thanks, MJ.

  2. amelia from z tasty life — July 16, 2012 @ 4:14 pm

    I am plagued with much your same issue. I too am not able, it seems, to do nothing… to “just be”. But a few forced events (being in the mountains without cell reception, for one, and away from home) this summer have showed me that it is indeed possible. And it is a beautiful, liberating thing. If only I knew how to make it last!
    P.s. The buckle is such a “retro” name and dessert… love the idea of it

  3. DessertForTwo — July 16, 2012 @ 5:49 pm

    I am the EXACT same way, MJ. If I have a few spare moments, I immediately recall a list of things I’ve been meaning to do and get to it. Or, if I absent-mindedly spend an hour doing nothing (usually watching tv), I feel guilty and turn into superwoman who must get things done! It’s not healthy for us.

  4. Katie — July 16, 2012 @ 9:38 pm

    This is so me it’s not even funny! I clicked over when I saw the title of the post because learning to do nothing is something I need serious help with. Let’s hope we both figure it out before Summer’s over 🙂
    Although, that buckle looks worth some time spent. I’d like that corner piece!

  5. Gail — July 17, 2012 @ 9:22 am

    Please send Oliver my way. I like the way he prices his goods.

    Learning to do nothing without any guilt is a fine art, much akin to clearing one’s mind of idle chatter while meditating. I believe it takes years of practice to attain that state of nirvana.

  6. Oh MJ – you took the words right out of my brain! And yes, like Gail, I like Oliver’s thinking on his pricing of baked goods!

  7. SMITH BITES — July 19, 2012 @ 10:34 am

    just ‘being’ is very, very hard for all of us who live in a society where we’ve convinced ourselves (me included) that unless we’re in some sort of constant movement, we’re a failure, we’re lazy, we’re fill-in-the-blank whatever. computers, cell phones, iPads, technology in general has contributed to this ‘must-be-busy, be-available-at-all-times’ mentality. and you’ve actually hit the nail on the head here – it takes ‘practice’ to re-learn how to just be. and you’re on the right track – you’ve recognized it. love the post, love your honesty, love you.

  8. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction — July 20, 2012 @ 7:14 am

    Love this post! And, considering I’m commenting bright and early in the morning after having already been awake for 2 hours and baked banana bread (among other things), I think I also need a few lessons in doing nothing. Of course, while it certainly wasn’t doing nothing, I do love the look of that blueberry and cherry buckle! Yum 🙂

  9. Betty Ann @Mango_Queen — July 31, 2012 @ 10:12 am

    This is a terrific recipe. I want a slice of this blueberry cherry buckle right now. Heading to the market fruit stands for some ingredients. Must bake this. Thanks for sharing!

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