1Heat oven to 350°F. Mix together 2 cups graham cracker crumbs, 1 cup finely ground almonds, 1/2 cup melted butter, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, and 2 teaspoons cinnamon. Press mixture into the bottom of a 9-by-2-inch springform pan. Bake 15 minutes, or until lightly browned. Cool.
For the ricotta filling:
1Reduce oven temperature to 325°F. Sift together 3 tablespoons each flour and cornstarch, and set aside.
2Using an electric mixer, beat 1 pound room-temperature cream cheese and 1 1/2 cups sugar until smooth. Beat in 1 (15-ounce) container whole-milk ricotta cheese. When smooth, beat in 4 eggs, one at a time.
3Beat in 1 1/2 tablespoons lemon juice; 1 tablespoon lemon zest; the scrapings from inside 1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise; 1 tablespoon vanilla extract; 1/2 cup melted and cooled butter; and 2 cups sour cream. Beat in the flour mix just long enough to combine.
4Pour batter over prebaked graham cracker crust. Surround the cake pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Place the pan in a larger pan filled with hot water to about 1 inch up the sides. Bake the cheesecake 1 hour or until barely set in the center. Turn off the oven, leaving the cheesecake inside for 1 hour longer. Cool on a rack and then refrigerate before removing from the pan and slicing into 12 portions.
Beverage pairing:Tintero Moscato d’Asti, Italy. To end a meal with this creamy and intense dessert suggests that the wine should be the opposite—light and fresh. This Moscato offers that along with some nice, contrasting bubbles. The flavors of each work together, with the vanilla and lemon of the cheesecake playing off the pear and citrus notes of the wine.
This recipe, while from a trusted source, may not have been tested by the CHOW food team.