This is my fist ever cheesecake( well, I have eaten, but haven't baked :-) but the recipe is my creation, since I didn't like the one I had in my book. The recipe was a complete success, since everyone who tasted it said it is not just good, it is not just delicious but it is to die for :-)
Now I am sharing it with you:
For the crust
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
7 tablespoons sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
12 tablespoons butter ( 1 stick and a half) or margarine -- melted
1 cup chopped pecans
For the filling
1 lbs cream cheese regular
1 lbs cream cheese whipped
1/2 cup heavy cream
3 teaspoons minced lemon zest
6 eggs -- slightly beaten
1 1/2 cups sugar
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
21 ounces cherry pie filling
On bottom rack in oven, place 13" x 9" pan filled halfway with water. Preheat oven to 350º.
In medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, the sugar, cinnamon, the butter and the pecans.Mix well together.
* You can actually use cinnamon crackers so you don't have to add powdered cinnamon.
Remove the bottom part of a 10" springform pan. To prevent leakage, place an aluminum foil sheet over the bottom part of the pan, then place the round one on top, close the springform( note that there has to be aluminum foil only on the bottom!) and after that just fold the excess foil on the outside of the pan. You can see the picture here:
Press the crumb and pecan mixture on bottom and bake in the preheated oven for 10 minutes.
In a large bowl, with electric mixer, beat the cream cheese , adding regularly the remaining 1 and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in the heavy cream, the eggs, the lemon zest and vanilla extract in this ordered. Beat until the batter is smooth.
Pour into the prepared pan( by this time you have to be finished with the 10 min baking with it). Place on the lower rack in the oven a bigger pan full of water ( it has to be bigger then the one you are going to bake the cheesecake in), then place the cheesecake pan on the middle rack and bake 1 hour to 1 hour and 15 min on 300F (or until puffy and slightly browned and the center is still a bit wobbly). Turn the oven off without opening the door and let cheesecake stand stay there for another 2 hours. Take it out of the oven and leave to cool down completely, then transfer to a plate and let it cool down in the refrigerator for 3-4 at least. Serve cold, when cutting use heated knife for better looking slices.
* If you want you can sprinkle coconut on the sides of the cheesecake.