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For Crust: Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 350 F. Wrap outside of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides with foil. Blend cookies, butter and sugar in processor until crumbs stick together. Press crumbs on bottom and halfway up sides of prepared pan. Bake crust 10 minutes. Set aside. Maintain oven temperature. For Filling: Using tip of small sharp knife, scrape seeds from vanilla beans into small saucepan; add beans. Add cream. Bring to simmer over medium heat. Set aside uncovered, and cool to room temperature. Discard beans. Blend cheese, sugar and salt in processor until very smooth, stopping often to scrape down sides of work bowl. Add vanilla cream and blend. Add eggs; process 5 seconds. Scrape down sides of work bowl; process just until blended, about 5 seconds. Transfer filling to crust. Bake cake until sides puff slightly and center is just set, about 50 minutes. Place uncovered hot cheesecake directly into refrigerator and chill thoroughly, at least 6 hours or overnight. For Topping: Stir all ingredients in heavy medium saucepan over medium heat until sugar dissolves. Increase heat; boil 3 minutes. Press mixture through sieve set over large bowl, pressing firmly on solids. Spoon warm topping over cold cake; spread evenly. Chill until topping is set, at least 2 hours. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover and keep chilled.) Serves 10. Bon Appetit November 1994
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