Diana's Desserts - www.dianasdesserts.com

White Chocolate Pistachio Cheesecake

Servings: 12-16
For the Crust
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 cup roasted shelled pistachios, chopped
1/2 teaspoon almond extract

For the Filling
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
3/4 cup granulated sugar
4 large eggs
6 ounces white chocolate, melted
1 cup shelled pistachios, chopped

1. Preheat oven to 350ºF (180ºC).

2. Combine all crust ingredients in small bowl and mix well. Press firmly in bottom and 1 inch up sides of 9-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes at 350°F (180ºC). Remove and allow to cool.

3. Wrap outside bottom and sides of pan with heavy-duty aluminum foil. Reduce oven temperature to 325ºF (160ºC).

4. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Add sugar. Beat until mixture is very soft. Add eggs, one at a time, beating until combined. Add white chocolate. Beat until combined. Do not over-beat*. Reserve 2 tablespoons pistachios. Stir in remaining pistachios. Pour mixture into crust and sprinkle remaining pistachios on top.

5. Place pan in a larger pan such as a roasting pan. Pour boiling water into larger pan until 1/2" deep. Place in oven and bake 1 1/2 hours. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight. When ready to serve, release sides of springform pan, and transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Cut into wedges.

Makes 12-16 servings.

*Note: Over-beating incorporates too much air into cheesecake batter. This causes mixture to over-rise during baking and cracks may form. Cracks are also caused by over-baking or drafts while cooling.)

Date: June 16, 2004