Step 1: Set out the ingredients at least 4 hours before you begin.Yet another great footnote!
Step 2: Heat the oven to 350 degrees. Combine the graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Stir in the melted butter. Press them firmly into the pan bottom and about halfway up the sides. Bake until fragrant.
Step 3: With a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese with the sugar at medium-low speed until the mixture is smooth and somewhat fluffy, about 2 minutes. Scrape the bowl. On low speed, beat in the flour. Add the eggs, sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat for about 30 seconds.
Step 4: To bake the cake in a water bath, wrap the outside of the pan tightly with two sheets of extra-wide heavy duty aluminum foil. Brush the inside rim of pan with melted butter.
Step 5: Pour the batter into the crust; it should cover the crust completely and come to within about 1/2 inch of the pan's rim. Put the pan in a roasting pan and carefully pour hot water into the roasting pan until the water is halfway up the sides of the springform pan. Bake at 350 degrees without opening the oven door, until the top of the cake is golden brown.
Step 6: Let the cake cool. Run a knife around the inside rim of the pan to free the cheesecake. Let the cake cool on the rack until barely warm.
Step 7: Refrigerate uncovered for at least 8 hours or overnight. The cheesecake will firm up during chilling.
Step 8: Run a knife around the inside rim of the pan again. Unclasp and remove the side of the springform pan, and then use a wide spatula to transfer the cake to a serving plate.
Step 9: Top with fresh berries or with our Berry Sauce recipe. Serve chilled or warm and eat with loved ones, or all by yourself!