Classic Lemon Cheesecake is a special occasion dessert easy enough for any day. This New York Style cheesecake is fabulously creamy with a bright fresh lemon flavor! It's like spring in a springform pan!
Preheat the oven to 350F. Lightly spray a 9 inch springform pan and line with a circle of parchment paper on the bottom. Line the sides with strips of parchment paper ~ this helps to prevent cracking as the cake cools. Note: if you have any worry about your pan leaking, wrap the outside tightly with foil.
Mix together the gingersnap crumbs and brown sugar, making sure to get out any lumps from the brown sugar. Drizzle in the melted butter and mix until all the crumbs are evenly saturated. Press the crumbs firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan, going up the sides about an inch.
Bake the crust for 8 minutes. Set aside to cool.
Put the sugar in a food processor and process with the lemon zest until the sugar is pale yellow and all the zest is incorporated. This will take under a minute.
Put your lemon sugar in a stand mixer fitted with the balloon whisk and blend with the cream cheese, and flour until well combined. Note: you can do this with electric beaters if you prefer.
Beat in the sour cream and lemon juice, and then the eggs, one at a time, beating in between each addition. Be sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl often to get everything well incorporated.
Turn the batter into the pan and spread out evenly. Set the pan on a baking sheet.
Bake for about 55 minutes, or just until the outside is set and the inside still wobbles. Turn off the heat and leave the cheesecake in the oven for another hour with the door propped open.
Cool the pan on a rack until room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.
Carefully remove cheesecake from pan, and decorate with fresh berries, mint, and flowers.
Use regular graham cracker crumbs for the crust, or any other cookie crumbs you like. Chocolatey Nabisco Famous Wafers or Nilla Wafers would be nice, too.
If you only have a 10 inch pan you can use it, just be aware that the cooking time will be shorter.
You can get the same topping effect using just one of the berry varieties that I used. If using strawberries look for small ones, and slice some of them in half for a nice visual touch.