Vanilla Bean Cheesecake with Walnut Crust
1 1/2 cups walnut pieces
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar
4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
2 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
2 pounds cream cheese, softened
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise, seeds scraped
4 large eggs, room temperature
1/4 teaspoon pure almond extract
1/2 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Butter a 10-inch springform pan.
In a food processor, pulse the walnuts with 1/4 cup of the sugar until finely
ground. Add the butter; pulse until the mixture resembles moist sand. Press the
crumbs into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 12 minutes or until browned around
In a small bowl, mix the sour cream with 1/4 cup of the sugar and 1 teaspoon of
Reduce oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
In a standing electric mixer fitted with a paddle or using a handheld electric
mixer, beat the cream cheese at low speed with the remaining 1 1/4 cups of sugar
and the vanilla seeds just until combined. Beat in the eggs, 1 at a time,
scraping down the bowl between additions.
Add the remaining 2 teaspoons of vanilla and the almond
extracts. Slowly beat in the cream until smooth. Pour the cheesecake batter into
the pan and bake for 75-70 minutes, until lightly golden and slightly jiggly in
Immediately pour the sour cream topping over the cheesecake and smooth the
surface. Return the cheesecake to the oven and bake for 5 minutes longer.
Transfer to a rack and let cool to room temperature. Run a
sharp, thin-bladed knife around the cake and remove the ring. Refrigerate the
cake for 3 hours, then cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight