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Luscious Lemon Cheesecake

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Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  1. Combine first 3 ingredients, stirring well. Firmly press mixture evenly on bottom and 1 inch up sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
  2. Bake at 350 degrees F for 5 minutes.
  3. Let cool.
  4. Beat cream cheese at high speed of an electric mixer until light and fluffy; gradually add the 3/4 cup sugar, beating well.
  5. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition.
  6. Stir in grated lemon rind, lemon juice and vanilla extract. Pour mixture into the prepared crust.
  7. Bake at 375 degrees F for 40 to 45 minutes or until set.
  8. Combine sour cream and 3 tablespoons sugar; stir well. Spread mixture evenly over cheesecake.
  9. Bake at 500 degrees F for 5 minutes.
  10. Cool completely on a wire rack.
  11. Cover and refrigerate at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.
  12. Cover tightly, and freeze up to 2 weeks.
  13. To serve, thaw in the refrigerator. Carefully remove sides of springform pan. Garnish, if desired.