"For variety, I like to use fresh fruit- strawberries, kiwi, raspberries, blueberries, etc.- on top of this cheesecake," says Marian Levin of Los Altos, California.
- 1-1/3 cups whole almonds, toasted and ground
- 3/4 cup crushed vanilla wafers
- 1/3 cup butter, melted
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 eggs, lightly beaten
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 3/4 teaspoon grated lemon peel
- 2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Assorted fresh fruit
- In a small bowl, combine almonds and wafer crumbs; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom and 2 in. up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. springform pan. Bake at 350° for 5 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat in vanilla and lemon peel just until blended. Pour into crust. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350° for 40-45 minutes or until center is almost set.
- Combine the sour cream, sugar and vanilla; carefully spread over filling. Bake 10 minutes longer or until edges appear dry. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer. Cover and chill overnight. Remove sides of pan. Top with fresh fruit. Refrigerate leftovers. Yield: 12 servings.
Originally published as Old-Fashioned Cheesecake in Taste of Home August/September 2004, p4
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