Special equipment: a 9-inch non-stick Teflon coated spring form pan
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F
Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in a mixing bowl. Pour the mixture into the springform pan and using a mixing cup press the crumbs into the base. Using your fingers gently press crumbs into the sides of the pan. Bake for 6 minutes. Let cool.
In a food processor, cream the cream cheese and the sugar together. Add the zest and vanilla, Blend until smooth. Add 5 egg yolks and heavy cream, pulse until smooth. Pour into a large clean bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites until a soft froth forms. Add 2 tablespoons sugar slowly to the egg whites and continue to whisk until soft peaks form. Fold into cream cheese, a little bit at a time until fully integrated. Pour into the prepared springform pan. Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until firm. Let cool for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
Mix the creme fraiche and sugar together and gently spread over the top of the cooled cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes. Let cool until the topping is set or chill overnight and serve. Best served at room temperature.
Serve with Cherry Confit.
In a medium non-corrosive saucepan place water, sugar, cinnamon, vanilla and thyme. Bring to the boil, turn down heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add cherries and simmer for 1 hour. If more liquid is needed add water. Continue to simmer until the cherry mixture is thick and the cherries are soft. Pour into a clean container and refrigerate until ready to use.
Yield: 6 servings
Cooking time: 1 hour 20 minutes
Recipe courtesy of Scott Bieber, Executive Chef at Taste