Rich and Creamy Cheesecake



1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

3 tablespoons graham cracker crumbs

2 pounds cream cheese

1 ¼ cup sugar

4 large eggs

1 teaspoon zest from small lemon, minced

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

¼ cup heavy cream

¼ cup sour cream


Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 325° F.  Line bottom of 9-inch spring form pan with foil tucked underneath pan bottom, assemble pan, then pull foil around side of pan.  Brush bottom and sides with butter.  Sprinkle crumbs over bottom.  Tilt pan in all directions to coat evenly with crumbs.  Cover pan, underneath and along sides with sheet of heavy-duty foil and set in large roasting pan.  Bring kettle of water to boil for water bath.

Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in bowl of electric mixer until smooth.  Gradually add sugar and beat on medium speed until sugar dissolves, about 3 minutes.  Add eggs, one at a time, beating until just incorporated and scraping down after each addition.  (If you don't scrape down the bowl after each egg, the cream cheese that sticks to the bowl will ultimately show up as lumps in batter).  Add lemon zest and vanilla and beat until just incorporated.  Remove bowl from mixer; stir in heavy cream and sour cream.

Pour batter into prepared pan.  Set roasting pan on oven rack and pour enough boiling water to come about halfway up side of springform pan.  Bake until perimeter of cake is set, but center jiggles like jello when pan is tapped, 55 to 60 minutes.  Turn off heat and leave oven door ajar using a long-handled kitchen fork or spoon to hold it open for 1 hour longer.  Remove spring form pan from water bath and set on wire rack; cool to room temperature.  Cover and refrigerate until chilled, at least 4 hours.  Can be refrigerated up to 4 days.

Makes One 9-inch Cheesecake