Ultimate Lemon Cheesecake with Lemon Glaze
2 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 30 crackers)
1/4 C. granulated sugar
6 T. melted butter
Fresh lemon filling:
1 to 2 lemons
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 1/3 C. plus 3 T. granulated sugar (divided)
2 t. vanilla (divided)
2 C. sour cream
To make crust: Preheat oven to 350°F. Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter or margarine thoroughly. Press onto sides and bottom of 9 inch springform pan. Bake 5 minutes. Cool.
To make filling: Grate peel from lemon to yield 1 teaspoon; squeeze lemon to yield 3 tablespoons juice. Set aside.
Cream cheese must be softened to avoid over beating. With mixer, beat softened cream cheese at high speed 1 to 2 minutes, until completely smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, scraping sides of bowl and beaters; beat until smooth after each addition. Continue to beat, gradually adding 1 1/3 cups sugar, then lemon juice and 1 teaspoon vanilla. Stir in grated peel.
Pour into cooled crust. Bake at 350°F. for 35 minutes — no longer.
Blend sour cream with remaining 3 tablespoons sugar and 1 teaspoon vanilla; set in warm place. Remove cake from oven; gently spread sour cream over top of cake. Return to oven; bake 12 minutes. Cool on rack 30 minutes.
Then refrigerate until topping is cool, not completely chilled, before spreading with Fresh Lemon Glaze (recipe follows).
Chill several hours or overnight before removing from springform pan.