Bourbon Vanilla Cheesecake

The cake is baked for one hour, left in the oven for another hour and finally the door is opened and cheesecake cools one hour. You can then refrigerate the cake in the springform pan. For a dramatic presentation, place on a cake stand and top with cherry pie filling. Whip 1 cup whipping cream, add 1 teaspoon all-purpose stabilizer and 2 teaspoons sugar. Pipe cream around the edges just before serving. Sprinkle cream with lemon zest and party sugar.

Crust

    2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    cup butter, melted

Cream Cheese Filling

    5 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese
    1 ⅓ cups granulated sugar
    3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
    3 large eggs
    cup sour cream
    1 tablespoon vanilla extract

    1 (30-ounce) can cherry pie filling


1.  Preheat the oven to 350 .

2.  In a large bowl, use a wooden spoon to mix crumbs and
     butter. Use a rounded 1-cup metal measuring cup to press
     crust into base and half way up the side of a nonstick 9-inch
     springform pan.

3.  In an extra large bowl, use a mixer on high speed to cream 
     the cream cheese and sugar. Use a rubber spatula to scrape
     down the sides as needed. Add flour, then eggs one at a time.
     Mix in sour cream and vanilla. Pour into crust and smooth
     top with a spatula.

4.  Place a pan of water on the lowest rack to help prevent
     cracking in the cheesecake top. Carefully place cheesecake in
     a preheated oven and bake for 1 hour.
 
5.  To prevent overcooking, turn the oven off after the first hour and     
     let the cheesecake remain in oven for an additional hour. Do
     not open the oven door for the whole second hour.

6.  During the third hour, open the oven door and let cheesecake
     sit another hour, still without moving it.

7.  Place on cooling rack until completely cool. Refrigerate until
     serving time.
 
8.  Unhook the pan, crust should stay firmly on cheesecake after     
 
      refrigeration. Slide a long knife under cheesecake to separate
    from metal base. If you used a glass based springform pan,  
     leave on base.

     Hint: To cut cheesecake, heat a knife in hot water. Wipe dry   
     then cut cheesecake into 16 slices, wiping knife with a warm
     cloth between each slice.

     Makes 16 slices