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Monday, July 16, 2012

Summer Cheesecake

Can you believe that summer is almost reaching its half point? If you’re in denial (like me) and the calendar dosen’t persuade you of this then, the temperature certainly should. As usual during this season, I fall into a berry frenzy and cant stop eating berries the season has to offer (blackberries are my fervor now a days). 
Due to my recent berry/health frenzy the lack of sugar consumption (after all it is bikini season) has brought on some serious sugar cravings. With my berry kick in mind, and sugar cravings whispering in my ear I thought I’d use my all time fav dessert and tackle both my sugar and berry desire. Lemon Blackberry Cheesecake. Enjoy!

Lemon Blackberry Cheesecake
33 graham cracker squares, crumbled
4 ounces (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted, plus additional, for brushing the pan
1 tablespoon sugar
20 ounces cream cheese
1 cup sour cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
2 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 eggs
3 yolks
Pinch of salt
1/3 cup heavy cream
¾ pint of blackberries
2 tablespoons sugar
zest and juice of half a lemon
2 cups sour cream (475 ml)
1/3 cup powdered sugar (35 g)
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 325 degrees F. Brush some of the melted butter around a 9 by 3-inch cake pan. Adhere parchment to the bottom and the sides.
In a small bowl, combine crumbled graham crackers, the remaining melted butter, and 1 tablespoon of sugar. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of the parchment-lined pan. Place remaining crumbs on a sheet pan and bake both the crust and the remaining mixture for 8-10 minutes. Cool.
In a mixer with a paddle attachment, beat sour cream for 10 seconds. Add the cream cheese and sugar and mix on low for 30 seconds and then turn up to medium. Scrape the bowl.
In a separate container, combine vanilla, eggs, yolks, and heavy cream. With the mixer on medium, slowly pour the liquid mixture in. When half of it is incorporated, stop and scrape. Continue adding the mixture until the rest of the ingredients are incorporated. Once completely combined, divide between two bowls.
In a food processor or blender, purée 3/4 pint of the blackberries. Put the blackberries through a sieve. Add the lemon zest and juice. Pour the sieved purée into one bowl of the cheese mixture, mix well.
Pour the blackberry filling on top of the prepared crust. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and pour the remaining filling over the top.
Lower oven temperature to 250 degrees F. Place cheesecake into a preheated water bath, in the oven for 1 hour. Turn the oven off and open the door for one minute. Close the door for one more hour.
Place sour cream in a medium sized bowl, stir in the powdered sugar and vanilla, until smooth. Chill until you are ready to serve the cake.
Note that this recipe produces enough sour cream topping for a thick topping and some extra to spoon over individual pieces of cheesecake, if desired. If you would like a thinner layer of topping and no extra, reduce the sour cream topping ingredients in half.
Remove the cheesecake from the water bath. Run a knife along the edge of the cheesecake. Spread an even layer of sour cream topping and place in the refrigerator for 6 hours to completely cool before serving.
To slice, place your knife into a hot water bath and wipe dry each time you make a pass through the cake.