I only had a small springform pan..so I made a small cheesecake. :( The cooking directions are for a regular size cake.
- 5-6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs,
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- Pinch fine salt
- 2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 cups sugar
- 1 cup sour cream
- 6 large eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 tablespoons vanilla extract
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- Berries, optional
Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350 degrees F.
For the crust: Melt the butter... covered in the microwave, in a medium microwave safe bowl. Brush a 9-inch springform pan with some of the butter. Stir the remaining butter together with the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and salt. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom of the pan, taking care to get the crust evenly into the edges. Bake until golden brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Cool. Wrap the bottom and up the sides of the pan with foil and put in a roasting pan. *don't use your food processor to crush your crumbs. put them in a zip lock bag and crush them with your hands.
For the filling: Beat the cream cheese on medium speed with a hand-held mixer-- or in your big mixer until smooth. Add 1 and 1/4 cups sugar and beat just until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed. Slowly beat in 3/4 cup sour cream, then eggs, 1 tablespoon vanilla and both citrus zests; take care not to over whip. Pour into the cooled crust. Bake for about 45 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the middle comes out clean. Set on cooling rack on the counter. Leave the oven on!
Meanwhile, stir together the remaining sour cream, sugar and vanilla paste. Spread over the top of the cooked cheesecake and return to the oven for 5 minutes. Turn the oven off, cook the cheesecake in the residual heat in the oven for 1 hour.
Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours or overnight.
Bring cheesecake to room temperature 30 minutes before serving. Remove the springform ring. Dip a knife in warm water, wipe dry before slicing each piece. Serve with berries..or not.