Creamy Lemon Cheesecake
9 graham crackers, crushed to crumbs
1/3 cup blanched almonds, ground
6 tablespoons butter or margarine, melted
3/4 cup plus 2 tbs. sugar, divided
3 pkgs. (8 oz. each) cream cheese, softened
1 container (15 oz.) ricotta cheese
4 large eggs, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons finely grated lemon peel
1 teaspoon pure lemon extract
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 375ºF.
In small bowl, blend graham cracker crumbs, almonds, butter and 2 tablespoons sugar. Press evenly on bottom and 1/2-in. up side of 9-in. springform pan. Bake 5 minutes; remove; cool pan on wire rack.
Reduce oven to 325ºF.
In large bowl with electric mixer at low speed, combine cream cheese, ricotta cheese, eggs, remaining 3/4 cup sugar, lemon peel, lemon extract and vanilla extract. At low speed, beat until blended. Increase mixer speed to high; beat 4-5 minutes until smooth and creamy. Pour into prepared crust.
Bake 1 hr and 10 minutes (70 minutes) until just set in center. Do not overbake. Cool to room temp on wire rack. Cover; refrigerate at least 4 hrs or overnight.