Best Cheesecake


1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 cup sweet butter, melted
3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
1-1/4 cups sugar
6 eggs, separated
2 cups sour cream
1/3 cup flour
2 teaspoons vanilla
Rind of 1 lemon, grated
Juice of 1/2 lemon


To Prepare Crust: Generously grease a 9-inch spring-form pan with butter. Place pan in center of a 12-inch square of aluminum foil and press foil up around side of pan (foil is to catch any drips). Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and melted butter in a small bowl until well blended. Press ¾ cup of crumb mixture into bottom and sides of pan to make shell. Chill prepared pan while making filling. (Reserve remaining crumb mixture for topping.)

To Add Filling and Complete Cake: Using an electric mixer at low speed, beat cream cheese until soft. Gradually beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg yolks, one at a time, until well blended. Stir in sour cream, flour, vanilla, lemon rind, and lemon juice until smooth. Beat egg whites until they hold stiff peaks. Gently fold whites into cheese mixture until well blended. Pour into prepared pan. Top with reserved crumb mixture. Bake at 350 degrees F for 1-¼ hours. Turn the oven off and allow cake to cool inside closed oven for 1 hour. Remove to wire rack and cool to room temperature. Chill overnight before serving.


Serves 10 to 12.

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