- 2 whole graham crackers, enough to make a scant ⅓ cup crumbs
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- ¼ cup almonds — whole, slivered, or blanched; honey roasted are tasty
- pinch of salt
- 3 cups ricotta cheese, whole-milk or part-skim
- 6 large eggs
- ⅓ to ½ cup sugar*
- ¼ cup Amaretto liqueur, optional
- 1 to 2 teaspoons vanilla extract, to taste
- ⅛ teaspoon salt
- *Add sugar to taste, for a sweeter or less sweet cheesecake.
- Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub a generous amount of soft butter on the inside of a 9" pie pan at least 1½" deep; use a deep-dish pan, if you have one. If your pie pan isn't at least 1½" deep, substitute a 9" square pan.
- To make the crust: Place the graham crackers, sugar, almonds, and salt in a food processor or blender, and process until totally ground, but not powdery.
- Pour the crumbs into the pan, tilting and shaking the pan to distribute the crumbs across the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet, to make it easy to handle once you've added the filling.
- To make the filling: Mix together all the filling ingredients, and beat slowly until well combined.
- Pour the filing into the crust; it will come nearly to the lip of the pan.
- Bake the pie for 45 to 50 minutes, until it's becoming brown around the very outside edge, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160°F. The pie will still look quite unset in the center; that's OK.
- Remove the pie from the oven, and cool it to room temperature. Once it's cool, refrigerate until chilled.
- Serve pie as is, or with the topping of your choice.
- Yield: one 9" pie, 8 to 12 servings.
Recipe courtesy King Arthur Flour
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