This is no-fail! Seriously! I usually make this cake every Christmas Eve - and who knows what condition I may be in while cooking then? Stressed? Tipsy? You name it, I've been there while making this cheesecake. I've left out ingredients, due to distractions or the fact that no grocery is open late on Christmas Eve. I even made it in a cast-iron skillet once, because I couldn't find the bottom of my springform pan. It always turns out great and never, ever disappoints! You can easily substitute strawberries, blueberries, or peaches for the sauce.
2 c graham cracker crumbs
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
1/4 c sugar
1 egg white
2 c frozen raspberries or blueberries (8 ounces)
1/2 c sugar
1 tsp lemon juice
3 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
1 c sugar
1 c heavy whipping cream
zest and juice of 1 lemon
- Preheat oven to 350°. In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, melted butter and egg white. Stir until blended.
- Press on bottom only of a 9 or 10-inch springform pan. Bake for 8 - 10 minutes, until very slightly browned. Don't overbake! Cool on a rack while you are making the cake.
- Boil in a saucepan over medium heat: raspberries (reserve a few for the top of the cake), lemon juice, and sugar. Stir constantly. Remove from heat.
- Press through a sieve to remove the seeds. Let thoroughly cool. (A sieve is a strainer. If you don't have one, you can use a clean piece of cheesecloth. I save the seedy mixture and refrigerate it. It makes a great jam for your toast the next morning.)
- In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the lemon zest and juice and beat well.
- Gradually beat in the whipping cream with a low beater speed.
- Add the eggs, ONE at a time, beating at low speed - until just blended after each one. DO NOT overbeat.
- Attach sides to bottom of springform pan. Pour batter onto prepared crust.
- Gently spoon the raspberry sauce over the filling in a kind of lacy pattern. Swirl it gently with a fork or knife blade to marbleize it.
- Place a shallow pan, like a pie pan, of water in the bottom of your oven. Place the cheesecake on a rack directly above the pan of water.
- Bake at 300° for 2 hours until almost set in the center. (The cheesecake will still "jiggle" slightly when done.)
- Cool to room temperature. Then refrigerate. (Don't panic if it cracks on top. This is normal because of differences in temperature between the hot oven and your kitchen. Remember - this is homemade goodness!)
- After cake is thoroughly chilled, remove sides from springform pan.
- Garnish top with whole raspberries.
- Cut with a knife dipped in very hot water between each cut.