CLOCK WATCH: Like any cheesecake, this will benefit from having some time to chill and set up. If possible make it a full day before you plan to serve it.
Total Time: 1 hour 35 minutes plus chilling Hands-On Time: 15 minutes
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
2. In a food processor, combine the cracker crumbs, almonds and 2 teaspoons of the sugar, and finely grind. Add the milk and process briefly to evenly moisten the crumbs. 3. Transfer the crumb mixture to an 8-1/2-inch springform pan. Press evenly into the bottom of the pan. 4. In a food processor, combine the cottage cheese, cream cheeses, orange zest, almond and vanilla extracts, and puree until smooth. 5. Add the remaining 2/3 cup sugar, the whole eggs and egg whites, and process until just combined. Scrape the batter into the prepared pan and bake for 50 minutes or until the cheesecake is still a little jiggly in the center but set around the edges. Turn off the oven, prop the oven door open and let the cheesecake cool in the oven for 30 minutes. Transfer to a wire rack to cool completely. Refrigerate until serving time. 6. To serve, loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan and remove the pan sides. Makes 12 servings.