- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 19 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1/2 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar
- 3 large eggs, separated
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Butter the sides only of a 9-inch springform pan. In a bowl, stir the graham cracker crumbs with the sugar and butter until moistened. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the springform pan in an even layer.
- In a large bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with 1/2 cup of the sugar until smooth. Add the egg yolks, lemon zest and olive oil and beat until smooth.
- In another bowl, beat the egg whites at medium speed until frothy. Increase the speed to high and beat until firm peaks form. Slowly add the remaining 3 tablespoons of sugar and beat until the whites are stiff and glossy. Beat one-fourth of the whites into the cream cheese mixture, then fold in the rest until no streaks remain. Scrape the filling into the pan and smooth the surface.
- Bake the cheesecake in the center of the oven for 45 minutes, or until the top is golden and lightly cracked. Transfer the cheesecake to a rack to cool completely, then refrigerate until chilled, at least 2 hours.
- Remove the ring and transfer the cheesecake to a plate. Cut into wedges and serve.
The cheesecake can be refrigerated for up to 3 days.