This recipe from Betty Crocker. I have made it many times, and it is  no fail, provided one follows instructions.

2 8oz packages cream cheese plus 3 ounces, softened to room temp.

1 C sugar

1 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs; or vanilla wafer, or shortbread

3 T butter, melted

2 T sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

2 tsp lemon zest

3 eggs

My technique

Preheat oven to 350°.

First, make the crust. Crush your graham crackers, shortbread cookies, or vanilla wafers, and put in a large bowl. Add the 2 T sugar and blend well. Add melted butter, and blend with a fork or pastry blender. Evenly press crumb mixture into springform pan. Place in preheated oven, immediately reduce heat to 325°, bake for 10 minutes. Removed and cool completely on wire rack.

Using a stand mixer, I put in the softened cream cheese, and beat it on 2 for several minutes until it is creamy, scraping the sides of the bowl as necessary.

Add the sugar slowly allowing it to blend with the cream cheese.

Add the vanilla.

Add the eggs, one at a time giving them a chance to fully incorporate before adding next one.

Add the lemon zest……..Side note: I used fresh lemon juice instead of lemon zest. One could use a combo. My result was barely noticeable lemon flavor. Some say the lemon zest (2 tsp) is too much.

Pour into cooled crust, and bake at 300° for 1 hour. Mine was done in 53 minutes as my springform pan is dark and non stick. Edges will brown slightly and time to come out. Center will jiggle slightly. I turn off heat, and open oven door to reduce cracking for 10 minutes…it will likely still crack; mine does.

Let cool and top with your favorite or just plain. I like canned cherry pie filling.

Note: this recipe is for a 9 inch springform pan. I used a 10 inch. The filling is a bit thinner, but still delicious.

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