MAKES A 9-INCH CAKE
6 ounces biscotti or other hard butter cookies
1/3 cup whole almonds
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated orange peel
1/3 cup butter, melted
1 cup almond paste, cut into small bits
1 pound ricotta cheese, well drained
1/2 cup sugar
1 cup light cream or fat free Half & Half or 1/3 cup buttermilk and 2/3 cup Half & Half
1/4 cup flour
A pinch of salt
Amarena cherries in syrup
Preheat the oven to 350F.
Lightly spray a 9-inch spring form pan with butter-flavored baking spray.
Whirl the cookies and almonds in a food processor until you have fine crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and stir in the sugar, orange peel and butter. Press this mixture into the bottom and slightly up the sides of the pan.
Bake the crumb lined pan for 12 minutes or just until the edges begin to brown. Remove the pan and cool it for 10 minutes. Lower the oven to 325F.
Use a food processor or stand mixer to beat the almond paste with the ricotta cheese; add in the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition. Add the sugar and cream and then the flour and salt.
Pour this mixture into the pan.
Bake until the filling is set, about 45 to 50 minutes. Cool completely.
Serve with Amarena cherries or Amarena strawberries over the top. Sliced strawberries with whipped cream is another good topping.
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