1. Butter 10 x 2-inch round cake pan or springform pan. (If using springform pan, wrap bottom and sides with foil to prevent leaking.) Mix crumbs, nuts and butter in a bowl. Press firmly over bottom of pan. Refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
2. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.Filling:
3. Beat cheese in large bowl until smooth. Beat in sugars and spices; beat until light and fluffy, 4 minutes. Beat in pumpkin. Beat in eggs, one at a time. Beat in cream.
4. Scrape batter into prepared pan. Place cake pan in roasting pan. Add hot water to roasting pan to come halfway up sides of cake pan.
5. Bake in 350 degree F oven for 45 to 60 minutes, until firm to touch and slightly puffed. Turn oven off. Prop door open slightly with wooden spoon. Let stand in oven 1 hour. Transfer pan to rack; let cool. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
6. If cheesecake is baked in cake pan, dip pan into large bowl of hot water 2 to 3 minutes to loosen crust. Invert large flat plate on top of cheesecake; invert cake onto plate. Put second plate on bottom of cheesecake; turn right side up. If baked in springform, release sides of pan. Transfer cake to serving plate. Garnish with almonds, if desired.
7. Cut in wedges with knife dipped into water; wipe dry between cuts. Can be refrigerated up to 5 days; wrapped and frozen, up to 2 weeks. Makes 12 servings.