1. Heat oven to 350 degrees F.Make crust::
2. Combine graham-cracker crumbs, sugar, almonds and butter in bowl until crumbs are evenly moistened. Press mixture into bottom of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until golden brown, 10 minutes. Cool on wire rack. Wrap bottom and side of pan with heavy-duty foil. Set aside.Make filling::
3. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F. Remove seeds from vanilla bean with tip of small paring knife or spoon; set aside. (Place bean in a canister with granulated or confectioners sugar to make vanilla sugar.) Beat cream cheese in mixer bowl on medium-high speed, 3 minutes. Scrape side of bowl with rubber spatula. Beat in vanilla seeds. Gradually beat in sugar, scraping sides of mixer bowl with rubber spatula. Add eggs, one at a time, beating just until blended and mixture is completely smooth. Stir in sour cream and vanilla extract, if using. Pour filling into prepared pan. Place pan in a larger roasting pan and carefully add enough hot water to come halfway up side of springform pan.
4. Bake 1 hour. Turn off oven. Let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hour. (Do not open door.) Remove from water bath and cool on wire rack 1 hour. Cover cheesecake and refrigerate 6 hours or overnight.
5. Remove ring from pan. Transfer cake to a flat serving plate. Garnish top of cake with whole strawberries, and serve with sliced strawberries, if desired. (Nutrition facts are based on per serving without strawberries.)