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Johnson Estate Winery

Lemon Basil Cheesecake

Lemon Basil Cheesecake
Recipe Date:
July 13, 2017
Cook Time:
Imperial (US)
A Delicate Cheesecake with an Unusual Topping. Complements the lemon notes of Johnson Estate Finger Lakes’ Riesling.

The Crust: 

1/3 cup sugar
1⁄2 cup butter, melted
1 1/4 cup graham cracker crumbs 1-2 tsp lemon zest

Blend these ingredients in a Cuisinart and pulse until the dough clumps. The dough will be crumbly; press into an 8-9” spring form pan whose bottom (but not sides) has been lined with parchment paper. Press crumbs with your fingers to make a flat crust. Bake at 400 degrees for just ten minutes and then remove from oven.

The Filling

1⁄2 cup sugar
1whole egg (2 if using 8 ounces of Neufchatel cheese)
1 tsp vanilla
4-8oz. cream cheese or Neufchatel cheese, softened
4-oz. Yancey Fancy Bergenost Triple Cream Cheese
2 tsp. lemon juice
1 lemon zest

Beat all ingredients with beaters or in a Cuisinart until the mixture is smooth. Using 4 ounces of cream cheese will result in a “skinny” cheesecake, so using 8 ounces will provide more cheese custard. If you like a lighter cheesecake, use the second egg, if you prefer a dense one, stick to one egg. Pour into the pre-baked spring form pan. Bake at 400 for 20-30 minutes, until filling has puffed up slighted and is very slightly browned.
The deeper the custard layer, the longer the baking time. Immediately after removing the tart from the oven, sprinkle the cheesecake with the lemon/basil/sugar topping ingredients which have been chopped together.


3 tbsp sugar
5-6 large basil leaves (may also use lemon balm or lemon grass for different flavor)
2 tsp. lemon zest
Chop basil leaves and lemon zest with sugar to make a mixture that will sprinkle well. There is nothing magic about the proportions so much, so do this a bit according to your taste. The mixture, when sprinkled on the warm cheesecake, will turn slightly crusty.

Let the cheesecake cool completely before slicing and serving. 


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