1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 8 crackers)
6 tablespoons butter, melted
3 tablespoons sugar
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
3/4 cup pecans or walnuts
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature
1 cup sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
2 vanilla beans
Juice of one lemon, strained (use only half a lemon if you prefer less tartness)
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 cups sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 vanilla bean
Preheat oven to 350°F. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a food processor, combine the crumbs, butter, sugar, nutmeg, and nuts. Pulse until mixed thoroughly. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and 1.5 inches up the sides (it helps to use a flat bottomed, straight-sided cup to press in the crumbs). Bake the crust until it darkens a bit, 10-12 minutes. Transfer to wire rack and let cool.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese on low speed until creamy. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beating gently after each addition. Split vanilla beans lengthwise and scrape seeds into the cream cheese mixture. Add vanilla extract and lemon juice, and mix until smooth and creamy.
Put the pan with the crust on the baking sheet. Pour the batter into the crust – you may have a bit too much filling, depending on the size of your pan, so don’t necessarily put it all in (you can bake the extra in a ramekin, or as I did, just eat it with a spoon). Cover the cake pan with a lid. Bake the cheesecake until the centre jiggles slightly when centre is shaken, 50-70 minutes. If it looks soupy, keep baking a few more minutes.
In a small bowl, combine sour cream and sugar. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla bean and add to the bowl, stirring well.
When cheesecake is baked, remove from oven and pour sour cream topping over. Gently spread the topping over the cake. Return the pan to the oven for 5 more minutes.
Transfer the cake to a wire rack and let cool for 1-2 hours. Cover and refrigerate overnight.