To prepare the crumb crust: In a mixing bowl, combine the crust ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with nonstick cooking spray. Firmly press the crumb mixture over the bottom and 1 inch up the sides on the pan using your fingers or the smooth bottom of a glass. Refrigerate the crust while preparing the filling.
To prepare the filling: In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute just until smooth and free of any lumps. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, 1 to 2 minutes. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. Add the eggs, one at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Stir in the vanilla and lemon zest; then blend in the sour cream. The batter should be well mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Preheat the oven to 325Â°F. Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold upÂ the sides around the pan. Carefully set the cake pan in a larger 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 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in the 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. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Slice the cheesecake with a thin, nonserrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.
Edited: October 12th, 2009