- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar, plus 1 1/2 cups
- 2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, softened
- 1 lemon, zested
- 1 orange, zested
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 5 eggs
- 2 egg yolks
- 1/2 cup sour cream
- 1 vanilla bean, seeds scraped from inside of pod and reserved
- 1 teaspoon bourbon
- 2 pints fresh strawberries
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 1/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2 tablespoons kirsch, brandy, or Grand Marnier
- 1 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Butter the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. In a mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, butter, and 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar and mix well. Press onto bottom of springform pan and bake until golden, 6 to 8 minutes. Set aside to cool. When completely cooled, butter the sides of the pan.
Lower oven temperature to 350 degrees F.
In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, 1 1/2 cups sugar, zests, and vanilla and beat until light and creamy. Add the flour, then the eggs and yolks 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sour cream, vanilla bean seeds, and bourbon and mix until smooth. Pour mixture into prepared pan. Wrap the pan in foil and place in a roasting pan. Fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to come half way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours.
Transfer cake to a cooling rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate cake overnight before serving. Cut into wedges and top with strawberry sauce.
Strawberry Sauce: Combine berries, sugar, water and zest and cook until berries are soft and the liquid is thick, about 10 minutes. Stir the kirsch or brandy together with the cornstarch and stir into the berry mixture. Cook until thick and glossy, 1 to 2 minutes.
Remove from the heat and let cool. Spoon on top of the cheesecake and serve.