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      Cheesecake Pie

      9-in pie shell, thawed if frozen

      2 8-oz pkg cream cheese, softened
      1 cup granulated sugar
      1/2 cup sour cream
      3 lemons, zested and squeezed for 1/2 cup juice
      Dash salt
      1 tsp vanilla extract

      For the Whipped Cream:
      1 cup heavy whipping cream
      3 tbs confectioners’ sugar
      1 tsp vanilla extract
      Optional: lemon zest for garnish

      Heat the oven to 425° if partially baking the crust. If not, preheat the oven to 325°.

      To Partially Bake the Crust (Optional)
      Line the prepared pie shell with foil and set it on a baking sheet. Fill the foil-lined pie shell about two-thirds full with pie weights or dried beans.
      Bake for 8 to 10 min or until the edges begin to show color. Carefully remove the foil and pie weights. Return the shell to the oven and bake for 3 min longer. If the crust bubbles up, gently press it down. Do not prick the crust. Remove the baking sheet and crust to a rack and turn the oven down to 325°.

      Prepare the Filling
      Put the cream cheese, granulated sugar, sour cream, lemon juice and zest, salt, and vanilla extract in the food processor. Process for several seconds until smooth and creamy.
      Pour the lemon filling into the pie crust. Transfer the pie to the oven (baking sheet and all) and bake for 45 to 55 min. It will still have some jiggle in the center and the top will be slightly browned on. Check the pie after 30 min. If necessary, place a pie shield or foil ring on the crust edge to prevent excessive browning.
      Remove the pie to a rack and let it cool for 2 hours. Cover and refrigerate.

      Prepare the Whipped Cream
      In a deep bowl with an electric mixer, beat the cream on low to medium-low speed until it begins to thicken. Increase the speed to medium-high and beat until it is forming very soft peaks. Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the cream and add the vanilla. Continue beating until stiff peaks form. Do not overbeat.
      Serve the pie sliced on dessert plates with whipped cream. Sprinkle each serving with a little lemon zest, if desired.
      Store leftovers in the refrigerator for 5 to 7 days. The pie or individual slices may be wrapped and frozen for up to 6 months. Serves 8
      balloony smilie

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