AKA my birthday cake today! I don't usually have a birthday cake, but decided to do a cheesecake this year. This recipe is from my sister, Trina. It's a lot of cream cheese and you need to plan ahead, but it is SO GOOD!
1 12-ounce box of vanilla wafers, crushed
6 Tblsps of butter, melted
40 oz cream cheese, softened (5- 8 oz packages) Neufchatel cheese (1/3 less fat) works great
1 3/4 cups sugar
3 Tblsps flour
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp lemon zest
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup heavy cream
In a small bowl, mix together wafer crumbs and butter. Press into the bottom and half-way up the sides of a 10 inch spring form pan. Chill while preparing filling.
In a large mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar, flour, salt, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat well. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each one. Blend in cream. Pour into crust. Bake at 500 degrees for 10 minutes and then at 225 degrees for an additional 70-80 minutes. Filling will be almost set. Cool at room temperature. Regfrigerate for 8 hours or overnight before serving.
I used frozen mixed berries in Danish Dessert for the topping. I used some left over lemon zest, heavy whipping cream, vanilla, and sugar to make the whipped cream for the top. Yummy!