With its luxuriously rich filling and real-fruit topping, cheesecake commanded a relatively steep price at 20th-century diners. One bite of this classic provided all the justification anyone needed.
Make the crust: Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Coat a 9-inch springform pan with cooking spray. Wrap exterior of pan (including base) with foil.
Stir together butter, graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon, and salt. Press mixture firmly into bottom and 3 inches up sides of pan. Refrigerate 15 minutes.
Make the filling: Beat cream cheese with a mixer on medium speed until fluffy. Reduce speed to low, and add sour cream, sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and vanilla. Beat until well combined (do not overmix). Pour into chilled crust.
Set springform pan in a large, shallow roasting pan. Place in oven. Carefully ladle enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Transfer roasting pan to a wire rack. Let cake cool in roasting pan 30 minutes. Remove cheesecake from roasting pan, and refrigerate, uncovered, at least 8 hours (or overnight).
Run a knife around edge of cake, and unmold. Spoon topping over cake.