Place graham crackers in a blender, and blend until fine crumbs form - 2 sleeves should be enough for 2 cups of crumbs - (you can also used boxed crumbs if you prefer). Add sugar to crumbs and stir well. Add butter to crumbs, and mix until thoroughly blended. Line the bottom of the Spring-form pan with parchment paper, and pour the crumbs into the pan, and press evenly to form the crust. Set aside.
Turn oven on to 350 degrees.
In the mixing bowl of your stand mixer, mix together the cream cheese, sour cream, sugar, and lemon juice. Scrape down sides of mixing bowl, and blend until smooth. Add eggs, and mix until blended. Add lemon juice, and Vanilla, and mix until smooth and creamy, scraping the sides of the mixing bowl, and blending until all ingredients are well blended. Pour cheesecake filling over crust, and place pan in the oven, on the center rack. (Place a small dish of water on the bottom rack of the oven).
Bake cheesecake for 1 hour. Cheesecake may be a little wiggly in the center; turn off oven, and let stand in oven for 20 minutes. If cheesecake top is getting too brown during baking, make a tent from aluminum foil and place over cheesecake to prevent burning on top - see photo, and note below.
Remove cheesecake from oven to a wire rack, and let cool completely. When cool, spread Lemon Curd over top of cheesecake, and wrap Spring-form pan in foil, and place in the refrigerator overnight to set.
A couple of hours before serving, whip the egg whites, and the cream of tartar in the mixing bowl, with the mixer on medium low, until soft peaks form. Add the sugar in a stead stream, but not all at once, and whip the egg whites on medium high until stiff peaks form, then turn the mixer on high and whip about 1 minute, until the egg whites are stiff and glossy (might only take 45 seconds, so just look at the gloss and stiff peaks) turn mixer off. Remove cheesecake from refrigerator, and spoon the egg whites onto the top of the cheesecake, mounding the whipped egg whites up on the cheesecake. Form small peaks/curls on top of the egg whites with the back of a spoon, gently pulling the top of the egg whites into peaks - see photo. Seal the edges of the cheesecake with the egg whites.
Turn the oven on to 400 degrees, and place the cheesecake in the oven on the center rack. YOU MUST WATCH THE CHEESECAKE CLOSELY, OR THE EGG WHITES/MERINGUE WILL BURN!
It only takes a few minutes for the Meringue to turn golden brown, so just watch the Meringue until it begins to turn golden brown on top, and when you have the desired browned Meringue, remove the cheesecake to a wire rack, and allow Meringue to cool for about 5 minutes. Place the Cheesecake back in the refrigerator, and keep chilled until time to serve.
Cut the cheesecake in 2 inch pieces, and serve chilled, with a sugared lemon slice on the side. Enjoy!
Makes approximately 12 - 16 servings (depending on size cut)
NOTE: This cheesecake should be made the day before, as it really needs hours in the refrigerator to make sure it sets. If you can leave it for 24 hours, before putting the Meringue on, that's even better, as this just gets better the longer it chills. DO NOT cover the Meringue when you put the cheesecake back in the refrigerator to chill, because you will cause it to fall. Make sure you have a designated space in the fridge to allow this to chill before serving.
To make a foil tent: You simply fold a large piece of foil in half, and then place it over the pan in the oven. This will allow the cheesecake to bake, but will keep the foil from touching the cheesecake.
GOODMAN'S LEMON EXTRACT: You can find Goodman's lemon extract in most grocery stores on the baking isle. They have lot's of flavors, and are an excellent addition to cakes, pies, or other baked goods.