Cheese Cake

Ingredients

Yield: 6 servings

Crust:

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)

1 stick unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

1 pound cream cheese, softened

3 eggs

1 cup sugar

1-pint sour cream

1 lemon, zested

1 dash vanilla extract

Warm Lemon Strawberry Topping, recipe follows

1-pint Strawberries

1 lemon, zested and juiced

2 tablespoons sugar

Directions

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.

For the Crust:

In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.

Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1 to 2 inches up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.

For the Filling:

In the bowl beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.

Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. The batter should be well-mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.

The cheesecake pan has to be wrapped in aluminum foil to preserve waterproofing fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large pan. Pour hot water into the large pan until halfway to the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake for 45 minutes at 325 Fh. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling.) Cool cake in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours. Loosen the cheesecake by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Transfer to a serving plate. 

Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.

In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on cheesecake.

to add: Spread a layer of Lemon strawberry topping over the surface (warm or cold to taste.)

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