This recipe was handed down to me from my mother. Every holiday my siblings (all seven of us) and I would request this awsome cake along with the homemade fruit toping. It's gotten so she'd have to create two cakes, due to there never being enough.
1To prepare crust: In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients together with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. Firmly press the mixture over the bottom and 1-inch up the sides of the pan, use your finger or the smooth bottom of a glass. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.
2To prepare filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute just until smooth and free of any lumps. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to slowly beat until combined. Stir in the vanilla and the lemon zest. Blend in the sour cream. The batter should be well mixed, but not over beaten. (Overbeating incorporates too much air and will cause the cake to puff when baking, then fall and crack when cooling.) Pour filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
3To prepare water bath: Set the pan on a double piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides. This will prevent water from seeping into the seams of the springform pan. Carefully set the cake pan in the large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan.
4Preheat oven 325, decrease oven to 300 bake for 1 hour 20 min. The cheesecake should jiggle, it will firm up after chilling. Be careful not to overcook! Do not do a toothpick test in the cake's center this will make a crack. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the insides of rim. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours to set up. De-mold and transfer to a cake plate. Slice the cheesecake with a thin non-stick knife that has been dipped in hot water and wiped dry after each cut.
5To prepare topping: Combine all ingredients in a 2-quart saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring up to a slow boil and stir gently until the berries break down and release their natural juices. The consistency should remain a bit chunky. Cool to room temperature and serve on top of the cheesecake. Yield: 2-1/2 cups
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