680 g/24 oz cream cheese, at room temperature (3 packages)
173 g/3/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
15 g/2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
1 pinch salt
150 g/3/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
2 tbsp. lemon zest, grated (2 lemons)
3 tbsp. Limoncello liqueur
4 large eggs, at room temperature
TO MAKE THE CRUST:
Preheat oven to 375 F/190 C (rack in center of oven). Pulse cookies in food processor until crushed to fine crumbs. Line sides of 23 cm/9″ springform pan with parchment paper strip.
In a medium bowl, stir cookie crumbs and sugar, add melted butter and mix until crumbs are evenly moist. Transfer mixture to springform pan and press evenly onto bottom and up the sides of pan (5 cm/2″ or as high as possible). Bake until crust is slightly darkened, 9 – 12 min. Let cool on a rack. Reduce oven temperature to 300 F/150 C.
TO MAKE THE FILLING:
In a stand mixer with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, sour cream, flour and salt on medium speed, scraping down sides of bowl and paddle as needed, until very smooth and fluffy, ca. 5 min. Add sugar and continue beating until well blended and smooth.
Add vanilla, lemon zest and Limoncello and beat until blended, ca. 30 sec. Add eggs one at a time, beating just until blended (don’t overmix after eggs are added!) Pour filling into cooled crust and smooth the top.
Bake cake at 300 F/150 C until center jiggles like Jell-O when nudged, 55 – 65 min. Cake will be slightly puffed around edges, and center still look moist. Let cake for 10 min. in turned-off oven (with door slightly ajar). Then remove from oven and let cool completely on a rack. Cover and refrigerate until well chilled, at least 8 hrs.
Cake can be frozen for up to 1 month. To freeze place unmolded, cooled, cake on baking sheet in freezer, uncovered, until top is cold and firm. Then wrap in 2 layers of plastic and 1 layer of foil. Thaw overnight in refrigerator.
I adapted this recipe from a “Fine Cooking” cheese cake master recipe