Make it a day ahead, so it will have plenty of time to set.
Note: Use food processor or blender to make the graham cracker crumbs.
2 cups graham cracker crumbs (~15 rectangles)
1/2 stick butter or margarine, melted
Combine and press firmly into the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan.
16 oz. (two packages) cream cheese, softened (Neufchatel works great too)
1/3 – 1/2 cup sugar or agave nectar*
1 1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
3 Tbs. lemon juice
1/2 tsp. lemon rind
Preheat oven to 375°F.
Beat all filling ingredients together until smooth.
Pour onto crust and bake for 25 minutes, or until set. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. You will need the oven again, so either leave it on, or reheat it.
1 1/2 cups sour cream
3 Tbs. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
NOTE: Instead of making this sour cream topping I have substituted Greek Gods Honey Yogurt before, as-is out of the container, and it is really yummy!
Reheat oven to 375°F.
Blend topping ingredients well and pour on top of cooled cake.
Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from oven and cool to room temperature, then cover tightly (still in the pan) and chill at least 12 hours.
* If using 1/3 cup sugar in the cheesecake filling I highly recommend serving with the puree AND some sweetened whipped cream for guests that want the option of sweetening their dessert. For my family, using 1/3 cup sugar is sufficient but, I think 1/2 cup is probably preferred by the masses.
HOW TO SERVE: I served it with a simple berry puree (2 cups frozen berries 1/2 cup sugar, boil then simmer, puree with a hand blender; continue simmering until thickened. Strain the sauce if your berries have seeds.) Serve with a generous pool of puree on the plate then decorate with a few fresh berries on top of the cheesecake. Although the cheesecake is fine unadorned, I recommend serving with a good helping of sauce.