1 1/2 pounds cream cheese -- room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon fresh grated orange & lemon peel
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
1/4 cup orange juice -- fresh squeezed
apricot puree -- (recipe below) 1 pint whipping cream -- lightly whipped
nut crust -- made with pecans
In a large bowl beat cream cheese, sugar, citrus peels and vanilla with an ele ctric mixer until light and fluffy. Sprinkle gelatin over orange juice mixed w ith 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Stir over moderate heat until gelatin i s completely dissolved and liquid is almost boiling. Remove from heat. Whisk or stir Apricot Puree into cream cheese mixture. Whisk or stir in gelatin and then the lightly whipped cream. Scrape into Nut Crust. Tap on counter to brea k any large air bubbles.
Cover and refrigerate at le
ast 4 hours, until firm. Before serving, wipe outs ide of pan with a sponge dipped in very hot water; run a thin metal spatula aro und cheesecake and remove sides of springform pan. Makes 16 servings.
APRICOT PUREE: Simmer 8 ounces dried apricots with 1 1/2 cups water in a heavy stainless saucepan about 15 minutes, until very soft. Puree smooth in a blend er or food processor, adding 1 tablespoon lemon juice and 2 tablespoons each Ap ry (tart apricot liqueur) and dark rum. Let cool while you make the crust.