1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 tablespoons sweet butter, melted (no substitutions)
1/4 cup sugar
2 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1/2 cup sugar
3 large eggs, separated
1/4 cup unbleached flour
1 teaspoon grated lemon rind
2 teaspoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons passion fruit (see note)
Crust: If you are pre-baking the shell, preheat the oven to 350ºF. Place the crumbs in a mixing bowl and add the butter and sugar blending well. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and up the sides of an 8-inch springform pan. Smooth the mixture to form an even layer on the bottom and sides. Bake the crust in the oven for 10 minutes and let cool to room temperature before filling. NOTE: This crust can be chilled for 5 to 10 minutes in the freezer until it is set but is not recommended in this recipe.
Cheesecake: Preheat the oven to 300ºF. In a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy. Add the egg yolks, one at a time, beating well after each. Beat in the flour, lemon rind, lemon juice, and vanilla until just mixed. Whip the cream until stiff in a medium mixing bowl. Set aside. In another mixing bowl, beat the egg whites until they form stiff peaks, then fold them into the cheese mixture. Fold in the reserved whipped cream. Stir in the passion fruit pulp then pour the mixture into the prepared crust and bake for 45 minutes to 1 hour. Cool, in the oven, to room temperature, then chill.
Note: Make the passion fruit pulp from fresh passion fruits or substitute your favorite jam, or it can be left plain. Pre-baked crusts are much crisper than the chilled ones and this can be important if you want a crisp