1 1/2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
3 blocks cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
1 lemon, zested
1 dash Vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
combine the crust ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch spring form pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well mixed but not over beaten. Pour the filling into the crust lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 1 hour and 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle, so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim.
Caramel Apple Walnut Topping or "Apple Pie Topping"
1/2 cup caramel sauce
1/3 cup chopped walnuts
1-2 baking apples, peeled and sliced into thin slices
3 tbs butter
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 TBS Brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
Add the apple slices, brown sugar and butter into a thick bottom, narrow and high sided pan. Cook over a medium-high heat, stirring, until the apples are tender and the brown sugar melts to form a thick syrup. Set aside and let cool.
Pour the caramel sauce over cooled cheesecake, smoothing with a spoon, leaving a few inch border around the edges. Arrange the apple slices as you like, top with cinnamon and walnuts. Refrigerate until ready to serve.