Luscious Lemon Cheesecake
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
- 24 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 3/4 cup granulated sugar
- 3 eggs
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon rind
- 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 2 cups sour cream
- 3 tablespoons granulated sugar Garnishes: lemon roses, lemon rind curls and fresh mint sprig
1. Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Firmly press mixture evenly on bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9−inch springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes. Cool.
2. Beat cream cheese at high speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add the 3/4 cup sugar, beating well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in grated lemon rind, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Pour mixture into the prepared crust. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes or until set.
3. Combine sour cream and 3 tablespoons sugar; stir well. Spread mixture evenly over cheesecake. Bake at 500 degrees F for 5 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 2 days. Cover tightly, and freeze up to 2 weeks.
4. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator. Carefully remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.