For the crust, you’ll use:
one sleeve (approx. 5 ounces) of graham crackers
4 tablespoons of butter, melted
1/2 cup of chopped pecans
Crush the graham crackers into fine crumbs; add the butter and nuts. Stir to combine and press into the bottom of a 10″ springform pan. Bake at 400F for 8-10 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow it to cool completely. Turn your oven up to 475F for the cheesecake.
For the filling, you’ll need:
5 packages of cream cheese (8 ozs. each), softened
1 3/4 cups of granulated sugar
3 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon of salt
8 eggs, divided – 5 whole eggs & 3 yolks
the zest of 2 lemons
the zest of 1 orange
1/4 cup of heavy whipping cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 tablespoon of almond extract
In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Slowly beat in the sugar and mix until thoroughly combined. With the mixer at low speed, add the flour and salt, the whole eggs and yolks, the citrus zest, heavy cream and extracts. Beat at high speed for 4 to 5 minutes. Pour the filling into the springform pan and smooth out the top. Place the cheesecake in the oven on the center rack and bake at 475F for 12 minutes. Then turn the oven down to 300F and bake for 35-40 minutes, then turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake in the oven for an additional 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove it from the oven and place it on a wire rack to cool. Once your cheesecake is completely cooled, you can move it to the refrigerator to chill. When you are ready to serve, remove the sides of your springform pan by running a sharp knife around the edge to loosen it and pop the ring clasp on the side of the pan.
If you’re serving this for company or a fancy dinner, you can move your cheesecake to a pretty cake plate. If you are a plain cheesecake person, dig in. If you like to dress yours up first you can top it with a good quality blueberry, cherry or strawberry topping. If you’re really twisted, you can cover the entire thing in melted chocolate and put it back in the fridge to form a hard chocolate shell. If you do that, please call me so I can come over. I’ll bring the coffee!