Mascarpone Citrus Cheesecake With Almond Crust

“This is adapated from Giada de Laurentiis' recipe on TFN. Keeping it here for safe keeping in case in ever disappears over there. This is truly the BEST cheesecake. The addition of mascarpone cheese makes this super-silky. This cheesecake freezes VERY well. I've tweaked this recipe just a little bit with the addition of a tablespoon more butter in the crust (I found it needed it), and for the lemon version...the addition of culinary lemon oil and limoncello for added citrus taste. You can also make this orange flavored, as described in the recipe. Both are fantastic!”
READY IN:
1hr 35mins
SERVES:
8
YIELD:
8 pieces
UNITS:
US

Ingredients Nutrition

Directions

  1. For the crust: Preheat oven to 350. Tightly wrap the outside of a 9-inch springform pan with 2 3/4 inch sides with 3 layers of heavy-duty aluminum foil. Finely grind the toasted slivered almonds, graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a food processor. Slowly add melted butter. Press the mixture into the bottom (not up the sides) of the springform pan (using the back of a 1/4 cup metal measuring cup helps for an even crust). Bake 12 minutes, cool completely. Turn oven down to 325.
  2. For the filling: using an electric mixer (or stand mixer) beat the cream cheese, mascarpone and sugar until light and fluffy, being sure to scrape down the sides of the bowl. Beat in lemon juice, lemon oil, limoncello and vanilla. Taste test. Add more lemon oil/limoncello if desired. Be careful with the lemon oil -- too much and it's bitter.
  3. Here's where you can change up the flavor -- for orange cheesecake -- add 1 tablespoon orange juice concentrate, 1/4 teaspoons orange oil (optional) and 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier in place of all lemon ingredients. Again, taste test before adding eggs and adjust to suit your taste.
  4. Next, add eggs one at a time (must be room temperature), beating just until incorporated, you don't want to whip in the eggs. Pour cheesecake over crust and place in a roasting pan. Fill the pan with HOT water (like from a kettle simmering on the stove) halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Bake for 1 hour and 5 minutes, until golden brown on top. Cheesecake will appear very wobbly. It will set when cool.
  5. Carefully take out of oven and cool on a rack for one hour. Cool completely in pan in refrigerator for at least 8 hours. Run a small knife around the edge of the cheesecake and release from pan.
  6. Here's where you can freeze it. After cooling completely in refrigerator, tightly wrap top of springform pan with aluminum foil. Transfer to freezer and freeze until solid. When solid, remove from freezer and run a small knife around the edge of the cheesecake and release from springform pan. Score cake into 8 perfect wedges and using your sharpest knife (dipping it in hot water will help this process), cut cheesecake into clean, sharp wedges. Wrap edge wedge in plastic wrap, thoroughly. Put slices in freezer bag and return to the freezer. To defrost, remove desired pieces from freezer, unwrap and place on a plate. Cover with plastic wrap and put in refrigerator until thawed (usually about 30 minutes). Can be left out at room temperature to speed along the process after 30 minutes in the refrigerator. Enjoy!

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