Prickly Pear Cheesecake

Prickly Pear Cheesecake

2 cups crushed graham cracker crumbs
2 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1/2 cup melted butter
1/2 cup piñon nuts, finely chopped

Mix graham cracker crumbs, sugar, butter and nuts together. Press firmly on the bottom and sides of a 9-inch spring-form pan.

32 ounces cream cheese, softened
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon lemon juice
2/3 cup prickly pear preserves
Whipped cream (optional)

With an electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add 1 egg at a time, beating well; blend in vanilla extract. By hand, add sour cream, whipping cream and lemon juice. Pour half this mixture into the crust. Spoon half the preserves over the batter. Add remaining batter and repeat with remaining preserves. Swirl with a knife for a marbled effect. Bake at 325 degrees F for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn oven off and leave in oven 1 hour. Remove from oven and let cool. Chill overnight.

1 cup prickly pear jelly
2 tablespoons Grand Marnier

Melt jelly and Grand Marnier over low heat. Pour atop chilled cheesecake. Spread evenly and let set. Decorate edges with whipped cream piping.

Makes 8 to 12 servings.

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