Family Favorites Raspberry Cheesecake

  This is my favorite recipe from the Barefoot Contessa cookbooks that I own.
It never fails, always draws compliments and you can vary it with any topping you like.  It is so creamy and I have never had it crack. I have made the full recipe, but it is very large and you need a large springform pan. I have made it using half the recipe and that is what I am going to give you. If you want it larger just double it and use at least a 10 inch pan. I did make the full amount of the topping, but the amount below is for the half of a recipe.
  I had some lovely red raspberries and some Chambord Liqueur so did a little changing by adding the Liqueur to the topping and in the cheesecake.  It makes a impressive cheesecake and I used a nut crust, which would make it gluten free. Hope you enjoy it.
  This takes awhile to make mainly because of the baking and cooling times, but is very easy to make and so good. It will make your reputation as a baker.

Raspberry Cheesecake
For The Crust
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
For The Filling
1 ¼ pounds cream cheese at room temperature
¾ cup sugar
2 ½ large eggs (5.62 to 6 ounces)
1 extra large egg yolk
⅛ cup sour cream
½ tablespoon grated lemon zest
¾ teaspoons pure vanilla ( I used the Chambord liqueur instead)
 For the topping (optional)
1/2 cup red jelly (not jam) such as current, raspberry or strawberry
1 1/2 half pints fresh raspberries
1 teaspoon Chambord

Preheat the oven to 350°
To make the crust, combine the crackers, sugar and melted butter until moisten ed,. Pour into a 9 inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1 inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Coo to room temperature.
Raise the oven temperature to 450F.
To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and the sugar in the bowl of electric mixer on medium speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer and add the eggs and egg yolks one at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater often. With mixer on low speed, add the sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla (or Chambord). Mix thoroughly and pour into cooled crust. Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225° and bake for another hour and 15 minutes. (check at one hour) The cake should not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temp. for 2 to 3 hours. Wrap and refrigerate overnight. 
  To serve remove the sides and slice in thin slices. If using the topping and the Chambord, stir it in to the jelly and gently stir into the raspberries. If not using the Chambord, heat the jelly over low heat just until warm and then stir in the raspberries.

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