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Pistachio Cheesecake

1 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/4 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar
3 whole eggs, at room termperature
1/4 cup finely chopped unsalted pistachio nuts
1 egg white
1/2 cup finely ground almonds
3 tablespoon apricot preserves

Preheat the oven to 275F. Butter an 8 by 3 inch cheesecake pan or
springform. Chill the pan for 5 minutes, then butter it again.
If using a springform, wrap the outside with foil.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese with an electric mixer on
medium until it is very soft. Gradually beat in 1 1/4 cups of the
sugar until the mixture is light and smooth, about 5 minutes.

Beat in the whole eggs 1 at a time, beating well between each
addition, until the mixture is smooth and thoroughly blended. Stir
in the chopped pistachios.

Turn the batter into the prepared pan and place it in a larger pan.
Add enough warm water to the larger pan to reach about two-thirds
of the way up the cake pan. Bake the cheesecake in the middle of
the oven for 1 1/2 hours, or until set. Remove from the water bath
and let the cake cool in the pan on a rack. Refrigerate until
chilled, at least 4 hours or overnight.

Preheat the oven to 500F. In a medium bowl, beat together the egg
white, almonds and remaining 1 tablespoon sugar until well blended,
about 1 minute. Unmold the cake onto a cookie sheet, wrapping a
hot wet towel around the outside of the pan if necessary. Brush
or spread the almond meringue over th top and sides of the cake
and bake in the upper third of the oven until golden brown, about
3 minutes. Let cool.

In a small heavy sacepan, warm the apricot preserves until melted.
Press through a sieve and brush all over the cake to glaze.


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