Apricot Swirl Cheesecake
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
1 cup dried apricots
1 cup water
1 tablespoon grated lemon peel
3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whipping cream
1 cup apricot preserves
whipped cream for garnish
toasted sliced almonds for garnish
Grease the bottom and sides of a 10-in. springform pan; sprinkle with ground almonds and set aside. In a saucepan over medium heat, cook apricots and water for 15 minutes or until the water is nearly absorbed and apricots are tender, stirring occasionally. Stir in lemon peel. Cool slightly; pour into a blender. Cover and process until smooth; set aside.
In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add flour; mix well. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Beat in cream just until blended. Stir 1 cup into pureed apricots; set aside. Pour remaining mixture into prepared pan. Drop apricot mixture by 1/2 teaspoonfuls over filling. Cut through filling with a knife to swirl apricot mixture.
Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 350ºF for 50-55 minutes or until center is almost set. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around edge of pan to loosen. Cool 1 hour longer.
In a small saucepan, heat preserves. Press through a strainer (discard pulp). Spread over cheesecake. Refrigerate overnight. Remove sides of pan. Garnish with whipped cream and sliced almonds.