Lemon Cheese Cake 
By : Alphons K Aneesh
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup butter, melted (Jane note: next time I’m going to try 1/2 cup butter)

- 4 eight-ounce-packages cream cheese (32 ounces total), softened
- 1 1/4 cups sugar
- 4 eggs
- 3 tablespoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons grated lemon peel
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

- 2 cups sour cream
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

In a bowl, combine crumbs and sugar; stir in butter until evenly distributed (I used a small whisk, a fork would work too). Press onto the bottom of a greased 10-in. springform pan; set aside. In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar well until smooth (I used my KitchenAid mixer with the paddle attachment). Add eggs, beating on low speed just until combined. Add lemon juice, peel and vanilla; beat just until blended. Pour into crust. (Quick note – I was doing a lot of reading about cheesecake before I prepared this recipe. You want to make sure the cream cheese and sugar are very well blended, no lumps. But once the eggs are in, you want to mix slowly and just until combined to avoid adding in air. Both of these techniques prevent the cake from cracking while cooking.)

Bake at 350 degrees F for 55 minutes or until center is almost set. (The center 2-3 inches should be just set and maybe look a little underdone when you pull it out. My whole cake was a little jiggly but you could tell visually that it was set, especially around the edges.) Remove from the oven; let stand for 5 minutes. Combine sour cream topping ingredients; spread over filling. (I had some leftover topping, just fyi…if I had used it all, I would have overflowed the pan.) Return to the oven for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes.

Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen (this helps keep the cake from cracking as it cools); cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Let stand at room temperature for 30 minutes before slicing.

I didn’t care about putting the cake on a serving platter, so I kept it on the springform pan and put the sides back on with foil across the top to store in the fridge.

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