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Pistachio Cheesecake
From The Cheesecake Bible, by George Geary

Pistachios are a great addition to cheesecakes both in the filling and as decoration.

Tips: Use fresh lime juice; bottled sometimes has a metallic taste. To drain ricotta, place a fine-mesh strainer over a bowl. Place the cheese in the strainer and let stand in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour or overnight.

Ingredients:

Crust:

1-1/2 cups (375 mL) butter cookie crumbs
1/4 cup (50 mL) unsalted butter, melted

Filling:

2 packages (each 8 oz/250 g) cream cheese, softened
1 lb (500 g) ricotta cheese, drained (see tip, page 158)
1 cup sour cream (250 mL)
1-1/2 cups (375 mL) granulated sugar
5 eggs
1 cup (250 mL) pistachios, finely ground
1/2 cup (125 mL) all-purpose flour
2 Tbsp (25 mL) freshly squeezed lime juice
1 Tbsp (15 mL) vanilla extract

Decoration:

Whipped cream
1/4 cup (50 mL) pistachios, ground

Instructions:

Preheat oven to 350F (180C). Prepare a 9-inch (23 cm) cheesecake pan, ungreased, or springform pan with 3-inch (7.5 cm) sides, greased

Crust:

In a bowl, combine cookie crumbs and butter. Press into bottom of cheesecake pan and freeze.

Filling:

In a mixer bowl fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese, ricotta cheese, sour cream and sugar on medium-high speed until very smooth, for 3 minutes. Add eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Stir in pistachios, flour, lime juice and vanilla.

Pour over frozen crust, smoothing out to sides of pan. Bake in preheated oven until top is light brown and center has a slight jiggle to it, 45 to 55 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack for 2 hours. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 6 hours before decorating or serving

Decoration:

Ice top of cake with whipped cream or pipe rosettes around top of cake, if desired. Top with a dusting of ground pistachios.

Yield: Serves 10 to 12

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