Serves: Makes 16 servings
- 1 large lemon
- 1 navel orange
- 1 grapefruit
- 2½ cups sugar
- 2½ pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- 5 whole eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- ½cup whipping cream
- ½ cup water
- Preheat the oven to 500°F. Line a 10-inch springform pan with parchment paper, a round on the bottom and a long strip around the edge.
- Use the fine teeth of a citrus zester to remove about half the zest from the lemon, orange, and grapefruit. Set this aside for the candied garnish. With a grater, finely grate enough of the remaining citrus zest so that you have 2 teaspoons each of grated lemon, orange, and grapefruit zest. Place in a medium bowl and stir in 1¾cups of the sugar until well blended. This helps keep the zest from clumping together when it is added to the batter.
- Beat the cream cheese in an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment until light and fluffy. At low speed, gradually add the sugar-zest blend followed by the flour, scraping down the side as needed. Add the vanilla extract and salt and blend until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, blending well after each addition, then add the egg yolks. Gently stir in the cream by hand, scooping well across the bottom of the bowl to ensure all the ingredients are very well blended.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until the top begins to brown. Decrease the oven temperature to 200°F and continue baking for about 1 hour, until the center of the cheesecake no longer jiggles when you gently shake the pan. Transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack to cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate at least 6 hours before serving.
- While the cheesecake is baking, make the garnish. Combine the remaining ¾ cup sugar with the water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring to help the sugar dissolve. Add the reserved zest strips, decrease the heat to medium-low, and simmer for 8 to 10 minutes, until the zest is translucent and the syrup has been fully absorbed. Let cool to room temperature.
- To serve the cheesecake, remove the sides of the springform pan, cut the cheesecake into serving pieces, and set on individual plates. Spoon a small tuft of the candied zest on each piece and serve.