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New York Style Cheesecake

Butter, or spray with a non stick vegetable spray, a 9 inch (23 cm) springform pan.  Place the springform pan on a larger baking pan to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.

For Crust: In a medium sized bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of the springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.

For Filling: In bowl of your electric mixer place the cream cheese, sugar, and flour. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Scrape down the sides of the bowl. Add the whipping cream, lemon zest, vanilla extract and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan in the oven.

Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to bake for about another 60-90 minutes or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. (The baking time can vary due to the differences in ovens, so make sure to check that the cheesecake is firm with only the center being a little wet and wobbly.) Remove from oven and place on a wire rack.

Meanwhile, in a small bowl combine the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla extract. Spread the topping over the warm cheesecake and return to oven for about 15 minutes. Remove from oven and carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools).

Let cool completely before covering with plastic wrap. Refrigerate several hours, preferably overnight. Serve with fresh fruit or fruit sauces.

Makes one - 9 inch (23 cm) cheesecake.

To freeze: Place the cooled cheesecake on a baking pan and freeze, uncovered, until firm. Then wrap in aluminum foil and place in a freezer bag. Seal and return to freezer. Can be frozen for several months. Thaw uncovered cheesecake in the refrigerator overnight.

Crust:

2 cups (200 grams) graham cracker crumbs or finely crushed Digestive biscuits

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 cup (114 grams) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

32 ounces (907 grams) cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese)

1 cup (200 grams) granulated white sugar

3 tablespoons (30 grams) all purpose flour

5 large eggs, room temperature

1/3 cup (80 ml) heavy whipping cream (double cream)

1 tablespoon lemon zest

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Topping:

1 cup (240 ml) sour cream

2 tablespoons (30 grams) granulated white sugar

1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

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