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Source: America's Favorite Food Associations

The Ultimate Apricot Cheesecake
If you are a cheesecake lover with a yen for fruit, this cake is for you! Decorate it with apricot wedges for a fancy presentation.
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Serves: 12
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
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1 cup (approx. 25 wafers) vanilla wafer cookies, ground
1 cup almonds, ground
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 pound cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
6 eggs, seperated
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup sour cream
1 can (15 1/4 oz.) almond flavored apricot halves, drained and pureed
1 can (15 1/4 oz.) almond flavored apricot halves, drained for garnish
1/4 cup sugar

Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a small bowl, combine the ground vanilla wafers, ground almonds, and melted butter. Stir with a fork until mixed. Pat the crumb mixture over the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of a 10-inch springform pan. Bake for about 10 minutes for the crust to set. Cool on a wire rack. Do not turn off the oven.

When the crust is cool, wrap the bottom of the springform pan in a double layer of aluminum foil to prevent leaking during baking.

In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until it is soft and fluffy. Add the 3/4 cup sugar and beat again until well blended. Beat in the egg yolks one at a time until the batter is fluffy. Add the vanilla extract, sour cream and apricot puree, mixing until blended.

In a seperate bowl, beat the egg whites until they begin to hold soft peaks. Slowly add the 1/4 cup sugar, and beat to stiff peaks. Fold the egg whites into the cream cheese batter.

Scrape the batter into prepared pan. Set the pan in a larger pan and add enough water to come about an inch up the side of the pan.

Bake for about 1 hour until golden brown and the cake is puffy. Turn off the oven and let the cheescake cool in the oven for 50 to 60 minutes. Remove the cheesecake from the waterbath and let it cool completely on a wire rack.

Cover and refrigerate for 8 to 24 hours. Remove the sides of the springform pan and serve.

Garnish the cake with one 15 1/4 ounce can apricot halves, Drain, cut the apricots into wedges. Place cheescake on a serving platter and arrange the apricot wedges around the cake.

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