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Source: Fabulous Food Associations

Ribbon of Cherry Cheesecake
Cherry cheesecake stays fresh for up to five days in the refrigerator -- but it probably won't last if your family knows it's there!
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Serves: 16
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
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1 cup sliced almonds
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup butter or margarine, melted
1 twenty-one ounce can cherry pie filling
3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
2 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 tablespoon almond extract
4 (eight-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 tablespoons amaretto
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 eggs, slightly beaten

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

In a skillet over medium heat, toast almonds for 5 to 8 minutes until fragrant and lightly browned. Remove from heat and transfer to a plate to cool. When cool, chop fine.

In a medium bowl, combine almonds, graham cracker crumbs and butter and mix well. Press the crumb mixture evenly 2 inches up the sides and over the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan. Set aside.

In an electric blender or food processor container, puree the cherry filling until smooth. Transfer to a medium saucepan, add 2 tablespoons of sugar and the cornstarch and cook, stirring constantly, over low heat until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat and stir in the almond extract. Set aside to cool.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine the cream cheese, remaining 3/4 cup of sugar, amaretto, lemon juice, and vanilla and beat until light and fluffy.

Add the eggs all at once, beating on low speed just until mixed. Do not overbeat.

To assemble the cheesecake, pour one-third of the cream cheese mixture into prepared crust. Top with about 1/3 cup of the cherry puree. Swirl the cherry mixture into cream cheese mixture using a knife or spatula. Repeat layers twice, ending with the cherry puree. Reserve the remaining puree.

Bake 60 to 65 minutes or until the center appears nearly set when gently shaken. Cool completely on a wire rack. Cover and refrigerate for up to 24 hours.

To serve, spoon a generous tablespoon of puree on serving plate. Place a cheesecake wedge on top of the puree.

Note: When baking cheesecake, set a shallow baking dish filled with water on the lower shelf of the oven. Bake cheesecake on shelf in middle of the oven. The resulting cheesecake will be creamy without the usual dry outer edge.

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