CRUST: Mix the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and butter together in a mixing bowl.
Pour the mixture into a 9" non-stick teflon 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.
FILLING: 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 and 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. Then pour into the prepared springform pan.
Bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until firm.
Let cool for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
TOPPING: 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. Best served at room temperature.
DIRECTIONS FOR CHERRY CONFIT TOPPING: 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.
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New York Cheesecake by Tyler Florence (cont.)