For the crust
Fine graham cracker crumbs (1 pack plus 7 or 8)
|½ cup||Granulated sugar|
|½ cup||Melted butter|
Thoroughly mix crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Press mix into sides and bottom of 9 inch springform pan. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
For the cake
Cream cheese, softened to room temperature
|1 tsp.||Vanilla extract|
|2 Tbsp.||Freshly squeezed lemon juice|
|1 cup||Granulated sugar|
|1 pint||Sour cream|
Optional: ¼ teaspoon fresh lemon zest
Preheat oven to 350°F.
In electric mixer, blend cream cheese, egg yolks, vanilla, lemon juice and sugar until smooth. Add sour cream (and optional lemon zest) and continue blending until smooth. In a separate bowl, beat egg whites until stiff (but not dry). Fold the egg whites into cheese mixture. Turn batter into crust lined springform pan.
Place pan on cookie sheet with an edge (in case batter leaks out during baking). Bake 1 hour and then turn off oven heat. Let cake stand in oven with door closed for 1 more hour. Remove cake from oven and allow cheesecake to cool on a rack in a draft-free place for 1 more hour.
Run bread knife or narrow spatula around side of pan and then loosen the rim (allow the spring to open to free sides). Set cake (along with pan bottom) on plate and allow to stand for 2 more hours. Remove cheesecake from bottom and transfer to serving plate.
Serve at room temperature and refrigerate leftovers.
Cheesecake may be served with fresh fruit coulis of your choosing or eaten plain.