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Yields1 Serving

 1 cup graham cracker crumbs or chocolate wafer crumbs
 3 Tbsp. butter
 2 Tbsp. sugar (white or brown - optional)
 1 1/2 lb. (three 8 oz./250 g packages) cream cheese, regular or light, or a combination
 1 cup sugar
 3 Tbsp. all-purpose flour
 grated zest of 1 lemon (optional)
 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
 1 tsp. vanilla
 3 large eggs

Preheat the oven to 350°F.


To make the crust, combine the graham crumbs, butter, and sugar and press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan that has been sprayed lightly with nonstick spray. Bake the crust for 10 minutes, then set it aside. Turn the oven up to 425°F.


To make the filling, beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with an electric mixer until smooth. Add the sugar, flour, lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat it again, just until it’s smooth. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each one. Pour the batter over the crust.


Bake the cheesecake for 10 minutes, then reduce the heat to 250°F and continue to bake for another 30-35 minutes. You can tell when the cheesecake is done when it’s barely firm around the edges and the center is just slightly jiggly. It will firm up as it cools.


Immediately run a thin knife around the edge to loosen it from the pan, but allow it to cool completely and then refrigerate it for at least an hour before you remove the sides of the springform pan.