1 cup graham-cracker crumbs
1/2 cup California walnuts finely chopped
1/3 cup butter melted (cooled it to room temp)
1 3/4 cups sugar divided
24 oz cream cheese 3 8-oz pkgs
6 large eggs
2 cups sour cream
2 tbsp cornstarch
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
21 ounce can cherry pie filling
1 tbsp grated lemon peel
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. In medium bowl with a fork, mix first three ingredients and 1/4 cup sugar. Press mixture firmly on bottom and around side of 9″ x 3″ springform pan to within 1 1/2″ of the top.
In a large bowl with mixer at medium speed, beat cream cheese until smooth; slowly beat in 1 1/2 cups sugar. With mixer at low speed, beat in eggs (one at a time) and remaining ingredients, except cherry topping. At medium speed, beat three minutes.
I recommend a water bath to gently bake the cheesecake. Wrap the bottom of the springform pan with heavy duty foil.
Pour the cheesecake mixture into the pan. Place cheesecake pan in the center of a roasting pan and gently add a couple inches of water. Carefully place the entire thing into the preheated over and bake 1 hour or until lightly browned.
Turn off the oven and open the door partially. Leave the cheesecake in the oven for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool in pan on a wire rack.
Cover pan with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours, overnight is better.
To serve: remove side of pan. With large spatula; loosen cake from pan bottom, slide onto plate.
Mix together all topping ingredients. Spoon cherry topping evenly over cheesecake.
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