To Serve (optional)
- With the rack in the middle position, preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C). Butter the sides of a 6-inch (15 cm) springform pan with removable bottom. Line the bottom with parchment paper.
- In a bowl, combine the crumbs, butter, sugar and salt. Lightly press into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool.
- Tightly wrap the base and around the outside of the pan with a double layer of foil, letting it extend upward above the rim of the pan. Reduce the oven temperature to 325°F (165°C).
- In a food processor, combine the cream cheese and sugar. Add the remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Use a spatula to scrape down the sides of the food processor as needed. Pour into the crust.
- Place the cheesecake in a large baking dish. Fill the baking dish with enough hot water to come one-third of the way up the side of the springform pan.
- Bake for 45 minutes or until a thermometer inserted in the centre of the cake reads 150°F (65°C). Remove the cake from the water bath. Remove the foil. Let cool for 1 hour. Cover and refrigerate for 5 hours or until completely chilled. Freeze at this step, if desired.
- Run a thin blade between the sides of the pan and the cake to unmould. Place the cake on a serving plate.
- Garnish the cheesecake with graham crackers and meringues, if desired. Refrigerate until ready to serve. The cake will keep for 3 days, covered, in the refrigerator.