For Dylan's birthday celebration, he originally asked for a baked alaska but I disuaded him because I didn't want to be in the kitchen making a last-minute dessert while the party was going on. He finally decided on cheesecake. It was then that, fourteen years together and two dozen cheesecakes later, the love of my life finally copped to an awful secret: he doesn't like my funky, fruit-laden cheesecakes. I had been thinking of a cranberry-lemon cheesecake; he told me that cheesecakes should be 'plain and white.' So I took it to my facebook wall and, in horror, realized that I was in the minority. Even some of my closest friends, with what I consider sophisticated palates, agree with my husband - plain and white. Ugh.
2 C crushed lemon-ginger cookies
1 C ground almonds
1/2 C (stick) melted butter
1 T ground cinnamon
2 T organic granulated sugar
Mix all of the ingredients together until moist clumps form. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and up sides of a springform pan that's been wrapped in foil. Chill crust while preparing filling.
3 - 8 oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 C organic granulated sugar
3 large eggs
3/4 C organic eggnog
1 T vanilla extract
1 t ground nutmeg
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350°F. Beat cream cheese in large bowl until fluffy. Beat in sugar. Beat in eggs 1 at a time. Mix in eggnog and vanilla.
Transfer filling to prepared crust. Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough boiling water into roasting pan to come halfway up sides of springform pan. Bake until cheesecake puffs around edges, about 1 hour 15 minutes. Turn off oven. Let cake stand in oven 1 hour, leaving oven door ajar.
Transfer cake to rack. Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Cool completely. Remove foil from pan sides. Cover cake and chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.) Remove pan sides to serve.