2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
8 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 cups granulated sugar
7 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup lemon juice and grated peel (yellow part only)
Pinch of salt
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.
Generously butter bottom and inside rim of a 12-inch springform pan. Sprinkle bottom evenly with crumbs.
Place cream cheese in a large bowl. Using an electric mixer, beat on medium speed until fluffy. Gradually beat in sugar until well blended. Mixing well after each addition, beat in eggs, one at a time. When smooth and creamy, add vanilla extract, lemon juice, lemon zest and salt. Blend well. Pour into prepared pan.
Bake on center rack of preheated oven until firm around edges and soft in the center, about 1 1/2 hours.
Loosen cake from rim of pan immediately. Cool to room temperature before removing rim of pan.
Chill or freeze and wrap to seal unless serving the same day.
Makes 24 servings.