Sunday, March 6, 2011

Classic Cheesecake with Berry Topping

I LOVE cheesecake. This is my version of baked cheesecake. I say it is my version because I make Junior's cheesecake filling with a graham cracker crust. The topping is a slight variation from Ina Garten, the Barefoot Contessa. I mix and matched recipes to find what works for me. Enjoy!

Graham Cracker Crust Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups crushed graham crackers
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup butter, melted

Graham Cracker Crust Directions

  1. In a small bowl, combine the crumbs and sugar; add butter and blend well. Press onto the bottom and up the sides of an ungreased 9-in. pie plate.
  2. Refrigerate for 30 minutes before filling, or bake at 375 degrees F for 8-10 minutes or until crust is lightly browned. Cool on a wire rack before filling.

Ingredients for Cream Cheese Filling
(4) 8 ounce packages cream cheese (the regular variety, not light Neufchatel cream cheese) at room temperature 1 2/3 cups sugar 
1/4 cup corn starch 
1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract 
2 extra large eggs 
3/4 cup heavy whipping cream

Directions for the Cheesecake Filling

While the crust cools, make the cream cheese filling: Place an 8 ounce package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl occasionally. Beat in the remaining 3 packages of cream cheese.
Increase the mixer speed to high and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups of sugar, then beat in the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating the batter well after adding each one. Blend in the heavy cream. At this point, mix the filling only until completely blended (just like they do at Junior's). Be careful not to overmix the batter.
Gently spoon the cheese filling on top of the baked sponge cake layer. Place the springfoam pan in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the pan. Bake the cheescake at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until the center barely jiggles when you shake the pan, about 1 hour and 10 minutes.
Cool the cake on a wire rack for 1 hour. Then cover the cake with plastic wrap and refrigerate until it's completely cold, at least 4 hours or overnight. Remove the sides of the springfoam pan. Slide the cake off of the bottom of the pan onto a serving plate. Or if you wish, simply leave the cake on the removable bottom of the pan and place it on a serving plate. If any cake is left over, cover it with plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator.

For the topping:

To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss the raspberries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

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