Ultimate Cheesecake

Graham Cracker Crust:  (Could substitute with Nilla Wafers)

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup granulated sugar

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

6 tablespoons melted butter

 

Cheesecake Filling:

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened

1 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 teaspoon grated lemon peel (2tsp if fresh zest)

1 teaspoon grated orange peel (2tsp if fresh zest)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract (Mexican Vanilla is best, or one fresh vanilla bean)

4 large eggs

2 tablespoons heavy cream

 

In a bowl, mix together the crumbs, sugar, and cinnamon. Add the butter and mix well. Using the back of a spoon, press evenly into the bottom and slightly up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan.

 

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with a large heavy wooden spoon until creamy and smooth. Add the sugar a few tablespoons at a time, and when well incorporated, add the flour, lemon peel, orange peel, and vanilla extract. Add the eggs and heavy cream.  Don’t over-beat.  Just mix until well-combined.  Scrape down the sides of the bowl to keep all the ingredients evenly distributed.

 

Pour the batter into the prepared pan and bake in the middle of the oven until set, but the center is still slightly soft (but not wobbly), about 55 minutes to 1 hour and 10 minutes. Remove from the oven, loosen the outer ring, and let cool in the pan on a wire rack. Refrigerate the cake, loosely covered, for 6 hours

or overnight.   If you use a 3″ x 9″ pan that is not spring-form, you will want to dust the bottom with a little bit of flour and bake the cake in a bath of water (which means to put the cake pan in a second pan filled with water that comes half way up the side of the cake pan.)

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