HEAT oven to 300°F. CRUMB CRUST: MIX vanilla wafer crumbs and egg whites in medium bowl until evenly moistened. PRESS evenly and firmly against bottom and 1-1/2 to 2-1/2 inches up sides of greased 9-inch springform pan. REFRIGERATE.
COMBINE cream cheese, sugar, flour, lemon peel and vanilla in mixer bowl. BEAT on low speed until blended. BEAT on high speed until fluffy. ADD 5 eggs and 2 egg yolks, 1 at a time, beating after each addition until blended. ADD cream; beat until blended. POUR into chilled crust.
BAKE in center of 300°F oven until wooden pick inserted midway between center and edge of cake comes out clean, about 1-1/2 hours. Center will still be soft but will firm up as cheesecake cools.
REMOVE from oven; CAREFULLY loosen edge of cake from pan with metal spatula or thin knife. COOL completely in pan on wire rack. REFRIGERATE, loosely covered, until firm, at least 8 hours or overnight.
Top this classic dessert with fresh raspberries and kiwi slices or prepared cherry or blueberry pie filling.
Vanilla wafer crumbs: Process wafers in blender or food processor, or place in plastic bag, seal bag and crush with rolling pin or flat side of meat pounder.
Room temperature cheese: To avoid lumps in the batter, take cream cheese out of refrigerator ahead of time, allowing it time to come to room temperature. In a pinch you can soften in the microwave a few seconds, but don’t overheat.
Room temperature eggs: Using eggs that aren’t refrigerator-cold prevents the fat in the cream cheese from re-hardening and making the batter look curdled or lumpy.
Refrigerate any leftover cheesecake promptly.
This recipe is an excellent source of choline, protein and vitamin A.