Adapted from The Mile End Cookbook by Noah and Rae Bernamoff
For the Crust:
2 cups crushed graham crackers (about 12 crackers)
2 teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
¼ cup sugar
½ cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the Filling:
1¼ pounds good quality cream cheese, at room temperature
¼ cup sour cream
¾ cup sugar
1½ teaspoons Diamond Crystal kosher salt
3 large eggs
1 large egg yolk
Juice of ½ lemon
1-tablespoon vanilla extract
Make the crust: Mix the graham-cracker crumbs, salt, sugar, and butter in a large bowl until the ingredients are thoroughly combined and the mixture has the consistency of wet sand.
Make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer, using a paddle attachment, combine the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and salt and mix on medium speed, stopping once or twice to scrape down the sides as necessary, until the sugar is thoroughly incorporated, about 3 minutes.
Whisk together the eggs, egg yolk, lemon juice, and vanilla in a separate bowl and pour the egg mixture in a slow, steady stream into the bowl of the stand mixer while the mixer is running.
After a few seconds, stop the mixer and scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl. Mix on medium-high speed until the mixture is totally smooth and uniform in appearance, about 1 minute, stopping the mixer as needed to scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
Bake the Cheesecake
Grease a 12-inch cake pan with grease, and line with a circle of parchment paper. Grease top of parchment as well. Spread the graham crust evenly and use the flat of your hand and fingertips to press down working your way to edges of pan. Bake for 10 minutes; cool for at least 30 minutes.
Raise the oven temperature to 500. Pour the filling into the prepared crust. Set the cake pan into a baking dish and fill dish about 1/3 way up with water. Bake until top of cake starts to brown, about 5-10 minutes. Rotate if necessary.
Reduce oven temperature to 225 and bake for about 1 hour or until a thermometer inserted into center of cake reads 150. Rotate cake pan halfway through baking. Remove cake pan carefully from oven. Set on a rack to cool. Refrigerate at least 3 hours before inverting into a serving plate, and then inverting it again so crust side is down.