1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon finely grated lime peel
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
Cream Cheese Filling
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely grated lime peel
1/4 cup lime juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Sour Cream Topping
2 cups sour cream
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, lime peel and melted butter in a bowl and stir until well mixed. Press the mixture evenly over the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 5 to 6 minutes. Set aside to cool. Turn oven temperature up to 375°F (190°C).
To make the filling, combine cream cheese in a bowl and beat until light and fluffy. Gradually add sugar while continuously beating. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in remaining lime peel, lime juice and vanilla. Pour the mixture over prepared crust. Bake for 45 minutes or until the center is just barely set. (A small area in the center may still appear a bit moist, but it will cook a little longer even after you remove it from the oven.) Set aside to cool. Turn oven temperature up to 500°F (250°C).
Combine sour cream and sugar in a mixing bowl; stir well and spread evenly on top of the cheesecake. Bake for 5 minutes to set top layer; remove from oven and cool to room temperature on a wire rack. Refrigerate the cheesecake for at least 8 hours before serving.