Using a blender, pulse the graham crackers into crumbs. Pour the crumbs into a medium bowl, add the sugar and combined well. Add the melted butter and stir until moistened. Press the mixture into an 8-inch springform pan covered with parchment paper and bake at 350˚F for 8 minutes, then let it cool completely.
Lower the oven temperature to 300˚ degrees and make the filling.
In a large bowl, using a hand mixer combine the cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Do it on the low speed of your mixer or you can use a whisk and mix it by hand, that way the cheese filling doesn’t get to many air bubbles and get a smooth texture after baking. Next add eggs one at a time, letting them incorporate between each addition.
Add lemon juice, lemon zest and vanilla extract and whisk again. Finally, add the whipping cream and whisk one more time. With a spatula clean the sides of the bowl and our filling is ready.
Place the baking pan in the middle of extra-wide heavy-duty foil and fold the foil up the sides of the pan ensuring there are no rips or holes. Set the baking pan in a deep roasting pan or deep baking sheet and pour the cheese filling over the cooled crust and smooth it with a spatula.
Pour the water around the edges about half-way up the sides of the springform pan. Carefully transfer the cheesecake to the center rack of the oven and bake at 300˚F for about 1 hour and 45 minutes or until the center of the cheesecake wobbles slightly when you tap the pan. Let the cheesecake cool completely then cover with foil or plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator overnight to fully set before slicing.
When the cheesecake is chilled, using a knife slice between the cake and the baking pan and take the ring part off. Then smooth out any imperfection with a knife.
Transfer the cheesecake to a serving plate and decorate as you desire. To get a nice and clean looking slice, dip a long knife into very hot water. Once the knife warms up, wipe with a paper towel and slice through the cheesecake. For best results, dip and wipe your knife between slices.