Lemon Cheesecake with Toasted Almonds

Crust:
1/2 cup finely ground graham crackers
1/4 cup finely ground almonds
1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/2 cup all-purpose flour

Cheesecake:
2 pounds cream cheese
1 cup mascarpone cheese
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
2 large eggs
1 tablespoon finely chopped lemon zest
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

Garnish:
1/2 cup sliced almonds, lightly toasted
candied lemon peel

Make the crust.
Position a rack in center of the oven; preheat to 350F.

In the bowl of your mixer using the paddle attachment, cream the butter and sugar together on medium-high speed for 3 to 4 minutes, until light and creamy. Add the flour, graham cracker crumbs and ground almonds and blend for 30 seconds, until fully incorporated. Press the mixture evenly into the bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake the crust until it is golden brown, approximately 20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, place on a wire rack and allow to cool completely.

Make the cheesecake:
In the bowl of your mixer, using the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed until light and smooth. Add the mascarpone and sugar and continue to beat on medium-low speed until well blended, approximately 2 minutes. With the mixer on medium speed add the eggs one at a time, scraping down the side of the bowl after each addition. Blend in the lemon zest and juice.

Pour the mixture on top of the cooled crust. Place the 9-inch springform pan inside a metal roasting pan and put it in the center of the oven. Fill the roasting pan with water, being careful not to splash any of the water into the cheesecake, until it comes approximately 1/2 of the way up the sides of the springform pan. Bake for approximately one hour, until the cake has set and the top is beginning to get golden brown.

Remove the cake from the oven and from the water bath. Place it on a wire rack and allow to cool slightly. Refrigerate the cake until completely cooled, 6 hours or overnight.

Garnish the cake: Loosen the cake by running a knife between the cake and the side of the pan. Remove the cake from the pan and press the sliced almonds around the sides of the cake, and sprinkle some candied lemon peel around the edges. Slice and serve.

Recipe from Chocolatiers website, modified slightly by CLS. Lemon Cheesecake with Toasted Almonds