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CHEESECAKE

CRUST:

  1 C GRAHAM CRACKER CRUMBS (~4 CRACKERS)
  1/4 C SUGAR
  1/4 C MELTED BUTTER
  1/4 TSP NUTMEG

OR:

  1 C CRUSHED GINGER SNAPS
  1/4 C MELTED BUTTER

FILLING BASE:

  1 1/2 C SOUR CREAM
  1/2 C SUGAR
  2 EGGS
  2 TSP VANILLA
  1 POUND CREAM CHEESE, BROKEN INTO PIECES

FILLING:

  1/2 C FROZEN BLACKBERRIES
  1 T BLACKBERRY BRANDY
  1 T SUGAR

IMPORTANT! BRING CREAM CHEESE TO ROOM TEMPERATURE.

PREPARE 8 OR 9 INCH ROUND SQUARE-BOTTOMED PAN BY LINING WITH BUTTERED PARCHMENT PAPER. APPLY STRIP OF PARCHMENT PAPER ALONG SIDES. CUT SIDE STRIP TO PROJECT 1/2 INCH OVER TOP.

BLEND TOGETHER CRUST INGREDIENTS AND PRESS INTO TOP AND SIDES OF PAN.

BLEND TOGETHER ALL FILLING BASE INGREDIENTS EXCEPT CREAM CHEESE FOR 1 MINUTE. BLEND IN CREAM CHEESE PIECE BY PIECE UNTIL SMOOTH.

POUR HALF OF FILLING BASE INTO PAN.

COOK TOGETHER BLACKBERRIES, BRANDY, AND SUGAR UNTIL SOFT.

STRAIN OUT SEEDS.

MIX WITH OTHER HALF OF THE FILLING BASE. SWIRL INTO PAN TO PRODUCE A NICE DESIGN, HOLDING BACK A SMALL AMOUNT.

PUT PAN INTO BAN MARIE IN 250° OVEN FOR 30 MINUTES. COVER WITH HELD-BACK FILLING AND COOK ANOTHER 10 MINUTES. TURN OFF OVEN AND LEAVE IN COOLING OVEN FOR ANOTHER 40 MINUTES.

CHILL 4 HOURS. RUN KNIFE AROUND EDGE, PULL OUT PARCHMENT PAPER, AND FREE FROM PAN.

NOTES:

IF YOU GET CRACKS, CUT DOWN THE COOKING AND OVEN TIMES. SMALLER CONTAINERS NEED LESS TIME (25-30 MINUTES FOR SOUP MUG SIZE).

USE STAND MIXER RATHER THAN BLENDER AND DON'T OVER-BLEND EGGS TO AVOID BUBBLES. COLD CREAM CHEESE WILL ONLY MIX IN BLENDER, HOWEVER.

VARIATIONS:

  • LEMON: REDUCE JUICE OF 2 LEMONS WITH THEIR ZEST IN HALF. STRAIN AND USE INSTEAD OF BLACKBERRY MIXTURE.
  • POMEGRANATE: REDUCE JUICE OF 2 POMEGRANATES UNTIL THICK AND SYRUPY. USE INSTEAD OF BLACKBERRY MIXTURE. YOU CAN ALSO ADD RASPBERRIES TO THAT MIX (STRAIN OUT SEEDS).