Mascarpone Cheesecake with Almond Crust

Apparently adding either sour cream or marscapone makes the cheesecake lighter (marscapone more so). I’ve made cheesecakes before but I really like this one because it’s so simple and delicate. From Giada de Laurentis.

1/2 cup slivered almonds, lightly toasted
1/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted

1 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 (8-ounce) containers mascarpone cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sugar
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon amaretto extract
2 large eggs, room temperature

Crust: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Finely grind the almonds, cracker crumbs, and sugar in a food processor. Add the butter and process until moist crumbs form. Press the almond mixture onto the bottom of the prepared pan (large ramekin). Bake the crust until it is set and beginning to brown, about 12 minutes. Cool. Decrease the oven temperature to 325 degrees F.

Filling: Using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone cheese, and sugar in a large bowl until smooth, occasionally scraping down the sides of the bowl with a rubber spatula. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla and amaretto. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, beating just until blended after each addition.

Pour the cheese mixture over the crust in the pan. Place the springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into the roasting pan to come halfway up the sides of the springform pan.

Bake until the center of the cheesecake moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour 5 minutes (the cake will become firm when it is cold). Transfer the cake to a rack; cool for 1 hour. Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least 8 hours and up to 2 days.

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