The Best Cheesecake I have EVER made!!

While Katie was here earlier in the week she told me her favorite desert was cheesecake and I know everyone else in the family likes it too so I set about to make one for Sunday diner. I have made them many times and have several recipes but I thought I would look at Ina Garden's recipes and try a new one. I have always had them crack in the center and was in hopes I could find one that didn't.
So I have adapted this recipe form the Barefoot Contessa's Raspberry Cheesecake.

Ingredients for the crust:

1 1/2 C. graham cracker crumbs
1 T. sugar
6 T. melted butter
For the filling:
5, 8 Oz. packages cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 C. sugar
6 large eggs at room temperature
2 large egg yolks at room temperature
1/4 C. sour cream
grated lemon zest of 2 lemons
1 1/2 t. Tahitian vanilla or other good pure vanilla extract*
For the topping:
1 1/2 pts. fresh strawberries and raspberries, red and black
3 T. sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust combine the graham crackers, sugar, and butter until moistened. Pour into a 9" spring form pan. Using your hands, press the crust into the bottom of the pan and about 1" up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature. 

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F. 

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on medium high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes.

Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater as necessary.

With the mixer on low add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust. 

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees F. and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely done in the center. Allow the cake to sit undisturbed in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the spring form by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the spring form for serving.
Top each serving with the sweetened berries.

This cake did not crack across the center and was delicious. *NOTE: If you love vanilla I strongly urge you to try the Tahitian Vanilla. I order mine from King Arthur and it is unbelievably fragrant, and the flavor is nothing less than sublime. This was really a delicious cheesecake.

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