2whole graham crackersenough to make a scant 1/3 cup crumbs
1/4cupalmonds — wholeslivered, or blanched; honey roasted are tasty
pinch of salt
3cupsricotta cheesewhole-milk or part-skim
1/3to 1/2 cup sugar*
1to 2 teaspoons vanilla extractto taste
*Add sugar to tastefor a sweeter or less sweet cheesecake.
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Rub a generous amount of soft butter on the inside of a 9" pie pan at least 1 1/2" deep; use a deep-dish pan, if you have one. If your pie pan isn't at least 1 1/2" deep, substitute a 9" square pan.
To make the crust: Place the graham crackers, sugar, almonds, and salt in a food processor or blender, and process until totally ground, but not powdery.
Pour the crumbs into the pan, tilting and shaking the pan to distribute the crumbs across the bottom and up the sides of the pan. Place the pan on a baking sheet, to make it easy to handle once you've added the filling.
To make the filling: Mix together all the filling ingredients, and beat slowly until well combined.
Pour the filing into the crust; it will come nearly to the lip of the pan.
Bake the pie for 45 to 50 minutes, until it's becoming brown around the very outside edge, and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center registers 160°F. The pie will still look quite unset in the center; that's OK.
Remove the pie from the oven, and cool it to room temperature. Once it's cool, refrigerate until chilled.
Serve pie as is, or with the topping of your choice.