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Mascarpone Cheesecake

I derived this cheesecake from one I saw on a food show one time.  I’m always afraid when I make cheesecake that it’s going to be heavy and dry when it comes out.  That’s never happened to me – and this recipe especially is so moist, and so melt-in-your-mouth that during a dinner party Gregg and hosted with four other couples, when dessert was served and everyone took a bite, there was a collective silence, then moan of appreciation.  It was amazing and those friends still talk about that dinner party.

Equipment

  • 1 Food processor
  • 1 Mixer
  • 1 9-inch springform pan
  • 1 large roasting pan
  • 1 large bowl
  • measuring cups/spoons
  • rubber spatula or bowl scraper

Ingredients
  

  • 1 cup slivered almonds
  • cup vanilla wafers
  • 3 TBS sugar
  • 1 TBS butter unsalted
  • 16 oz cream cheese softened to room temperature
  • 16 oz mascarpone cheese softened to room temperature
  • cups sugar
  • 2 tsp lemon juice
  • 2 ea vanilla beans
  • 4 ea eggs room temperature

Instructions
 

Preparation

  • Preheat the oven to 350° degrees F.
  • Lightly toast the almonds.  Place them in a shallow frying pan and cook, stirring and shifting often, until they start to toast.  (This will smell really good – and when you start to smell it, they’re just about done.)
  • If using a fresh lemon, squeeze the lemon.
  • Seed the vanilla beans.  Discard the shells.  (I place them in a container with sugar — this makes wonderful vanilla sugar that you can use for all sorts of things from flavoring your morning coffee to boosting up your white cake recipe.)
  • Wrap a 9-inch springform pan tightly with foil.

For the Crust

  • Grind the cookies in the food processor.  Measure out ⅔ cup.
  • Grind the almonds in the food processor.  Add the ⅔ cup cookie crumbs.  Add the sugar.  Add the butter.
  • Press the crust mixture into the bottom only of the pan.
  • Bake until the crust is set – 12-15 minutes.

For the Cheesecake

  • Reduce the oven to 325° degrees F.
  • In a mixing bowl, beat the cheeses until fluffy.  Add the sugar.  Add the lemon juice and vanilla bean.  Add the eggs one at a time.  Mix well.
  • Pour into the springform pan.  Place pan in a large roasting pan.  Set the pan in the oven.
  • Pour hot water into the pan until it comes up halfway up the springform pan.
  • Bake until the middle is just jiggly – about 1 hour 5 minutes to 1 hour 15 minutes.
  • Remove from oven, remove from roasting pan, and chill in refrigerator until cold – about 8 hours.