70 vanilla wafers (8 1/2 oz), finely ground in a food processor (2 1/3 cups)
1 1/4 sticks (10 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
20 oz cream cheese (2 1/2 eight-ounce packages), softened
8 oz mascarpone cheese at room temperature (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Bellisari’s Blistered Jalapeno & Fig Spread
¼ cup sliced almonds
Flowers for garnish
Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan.
Stir together cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup crumb mixture for sprinkling over cheesecake, then pat remainder onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up side of springform pan (about 1 inch thick). Put pan in a shallow baking pan and bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on a rack, about 25 minutes. Leave oven open
Make filling while crust bakes:
Beat cream cheese, mascarpone, and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium high speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add almonds. Add vanilla, lemon juice, Bellisari’s Blistered Jalapeno & Fig Spread and salt and mix at low speed until combined. Pour into cooled crust and bake until cake is set and puffed around edge but still trembles slightly when pan is shaken gently, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool slightly in springform pan on rack, about 20 minutes. (Cheesecake will continue to set as it cools.) Garnish with dried flowers or fruit (optional).