Delicious cheesecake... priceless!
The recipe comes from Ina Garten's Barefoot Contessa Family Style. It's just a traditional cheesecake but all her recipes are just wonderful. This is the first one I have EVER made that didn't crack on top. I think it was due to my cheap little Sears oven here which works great as opposed to my huge expensive Viking oven at home which takes forever to heat up and doesn't bake that evenly.
Also it's good to note that you can't expect to be eating cheesecake until the end of the day if you start early in the morning or the NEXT day if you start later in the day. Good things take time...
For the crust: 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 Tbsp sugar
6 Tbsp (3/4) cup unsalted butter, melted
For the filling: 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temp
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temp
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temp
1/4 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp grated lemon zest
1 1/2 tsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
To make crust, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter until moistened. Press into a 9-inch springform pan onto the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temp.
Raise oven temperature to 450 degrees.
To make filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar with electric mixer until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce speed of mixer and add eggs and egg yolks. Scrape down the bowl and mix until creamy and no lumps. Add in sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla. Pour into cooled crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. Turn oven down to 225 degrees and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off, open the oven door wide. Allow cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 15 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow to cool to room temp. for about 2-3 hours. Wrap and refrigerate overnight or about 6 hours.
Remove from the springform pan and top with raspberries that have been slightly sweetened.