Sweet Dreamin’: Summer Berries Cheesecake
SWEET: Summer Berries Cheesecake
MAIN INGREDIENT: Cream cheese, summer berries
GREAT FOR: Decadent dessert or date night
When I was little I could never understand the idea of cheesecake. In my mind, I imagined a pie stuffed with Brie, Swiss, Cheddar, Parmesan, or other cheeses, and then topped with chocolate or frosting. It didn’t seem right – not even to a 5-year-old from France. Over there cheese is a staple, cheesecake is nonexistent. So when we moved to the States and were introduced to such a curious cake, I refused to take a single bite. I guess eventually, as I grew older and my friends started to fall in love with the dessert, I had to give in. I went against what I believed to be unnatural, and just bit the bullet. When I did, I was surprised by what I discovered. Cheesecake wasn’t salty and gooey. It wasn’t a pie either. Cheesecake was soft, sweet and rich, almost like a mousse. It was my new favorite dessert. In the year that followed, I became obsessed. I tried every type of cheesecake out there: strawberry, chocolate, peanut butter, mango, blueberry, coffee/espresso, vanilla.
When I mustered up the confidence, I decided to try my hand at cheesecake. The first couple of times didn’t go as planned. It was either too runny, frozen solid, or looked okay but was chunky and didn’t taste right. After a bit of practice, I had finally mastered the art of making a cheesecake. In the process, I realized that my favorite dessert paired nicely with the abundant fruits of summer, my favorite season. Now it’s the official summer sweet in my house.
Here’s a sweet and refreshing recipe for you to enjoy!
Candice Allouch is a senior at American University having just returned from a year abroad in Italy and Scotland. She loves to experiment with tastes in the kitchen and is excited to bring the new foodie secrets she learned from Europe to her friends and family in the States.
Summer Berries Cheesecake
Adapted from Ina Garten on Food Network
For the crust:
1 ½ cups Graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 tablespoon of sugar
¾ stick unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
2 ½ lbs of cream cheese, at room temperature
1 ½ cups of sugar
5 eggs, at room temperature
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
¼ cups of sour cream
1 tablespoon of grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 ½ teaspoon of vanilla extract
For the topping:
1 cup of any red jelly (not jam)
½ cup sliced strawberries
½ cup sliced raspberries
½ cup sliced blueberries
½ cup sliced blackberries
Preheat oven to 350°F. To make the crust, combine the sugar, graham crackers, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into your pan and press down with your hands so that the mixture comes about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes.
Remove from oven and cool to room temperature. Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until light and fluffy (this can be done by hand but is easier with an electric mixer). Add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well.
Add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Add some of the berries to the batter (the amount is up to you, but remember not to put too many as the berries make the batter thicker and it may overflow in the pan).
Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust. Bake for about 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees F and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. Allow the cake to sit in the oven for about 30 minutes.
Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for 2-3 hours, or until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small saucepan over low heat. In a bowl toss the remaining berries and the warmed jelly until well mixed. Pour the mixture over the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve. Enjoy the deliciousness that is cheesecake!
Recipe Index Keywords:Categories: Baking, Blog, Eating, Featured, and Recipes.
Cooking Method: In the Oven and Make Ahead.
I'm Cooking For...: Dates and Dinner Party.
Type of Food: Sweets.