The Lemon Dream Cheesecake

Preheat the oven to 325°F (165°C)

Prepare the crust by mixing together 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 1/2 cup melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan, using a flat bottomed glass or measuring cup to press the crust firmly and evenly into the bottom of the pan.

In a large mixing bowl, beat 2 lbs of cream cheese with an electric mixer until smooth.

Mix in 1 cup granulated sugar, 2 tablespoons lemon zest and 1/4 cup of lemon juice until well combined.

Stir in 1 cup of sour cream, 4 large eggs, and 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, Mix until well blended.

Pour the filling over the crust in the prepared pan.

Place the pan on a baking sheet, and bake in the preheated oven for 50-55 minutes or until the center is almost set.

Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake cool inside the oven for 1 hour. This will prevent the cheesecake from cracking.

Remove the cheesecake from the oven and chill in the refrigerator for at least 4 hours or overnight.

Garnish with whipped cream and lemon zest before serving.