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Pistachio Cardamom Cheesecake

Cardamom has a sweet and warm taste that makes you think of clove, allspice and pepper all wrapped in one spice. Mix it with pistachios and add to cheesecake for a dessert that suggests the exotic flavors of India. —Carolyn Harkonnen, Loomis, California
  • Total Time
    Prep: 30 min. Bake: 35 min. + chilling
  • Makes
    12 servings

Ingredients

  • 1-1/4 cups finely crushed animal crackers
  • 3 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted
  • FILLING:
  • 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, softened
  • 1 can (14 ounces) sweetened condensed milk
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons ground cardamom
  • 1 drop green food coloring, optional
  • 3 eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1/2 cup pistachios, finely chopped
  • Sweetened whipped cream, optional
  • Optional: Additional chopped pistachios and animal cracker crumbs

Directions

  • Preheat oven to 325°. Place a greased 9-in. springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan.
  • In a small bowl, combine cracker crumbs and brown sugar; stir in butter. Press onto the bottom of prepared pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Beat in the milk, lemon juice, cardamom and, if desired, food coloring. Add eggs; beat on low speed just until combined. Fold in pistachios. Pour over crust. Place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of boiling water to larger pan.
  • Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull. Remove springform pan from water bath; remove foil. Cool cheesecake on a wire rack for 10 minutes; loosen sides from pan with a knife. Cool 1 hour longer. Refrigerate overnight.
  • Remove rim from pan. Top cheesecake with whipped cream and sprinkle with pistachios and cracker crumbs if desired.
Editor's Note
To toast nuts, bake in a shallow pan in a 350° oven for 5-10 minutes or cook in a skillet over low heat until lightly browned, stirring occasionally.
Nutrition Facts
1 slice (calculated without garnishes): 375 calories, 26g fat (14g saturated fat), 118mg cholesterol, 259mg sodium, 30g carbohydrate (23g sugars, 1g fiber), 9g protein.
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