Cheesecakes: Preheat oven
to 300 degrees F (150 degrees C) and place oven rack in the center of the oven.
Line 12 muffin cups with paper or foil liners.
For Crust: In a small bowl
combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter.
Press a heaping tablespoon of crumbs onto the bottoms of the 12 muffin cups.
Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
For Filling: In the bowl of your electric
mixer (or with a hand mixer), beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy
and smooth. Add the sugar and salt and beat until combined.
the sides of the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating until
incorporated. Add the vanilla extract and sour cream and beat until incorporated. Remove the crusts from the
refrigerator and evenly divide the filling among the 12 muffin cups.
Bake for about 18 - 22 minutes or until firm
centers of the cheesecakes still wobble a little. Remove from oven and place on a
wire rack. Let cool and then cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate
for several hours or overnight.
Lemon Curd: In a stainless steel bowl placed over a
saucepan of simmering water, whisk together the eggs, sugar, and lemon juice
until blended. Cook, stirring constantly (to prevent it from
curdling), until the mixture becomes thick (like sour cream or a hollandaise sauce)
(160 degrees F or 71 degrees C). This will take approximately 10 minutes. Remove from
heat and immediately pour through a fine strainer to remove any lumps. Cut the butter
into small pieces and whisk into the mixture until the butter has melted. Add the
lemon zest and cover immediately to prevent a skin from forming. Let cool until
it of pouring consistency.
To Serve: Once the
cheesecakes have been chilled, pour a heaping tablespoon of the lemon curd on
top of each cheesecake. Gently smooth the lemon curd to form an even layer.
Cover and return to the refrigerator for several hours or even overnight. To
serve, gently remove the paper liners. If desired, use a small metal spatula,
that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry, to smooth the sides of the
cheesecakes. The cheesecakes can be stored for several days in the refrigerator.
Makes 12 individual cheesecakes.