One sure sign of spring and summer is the abundance of beautiful, fresh berries. Strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and finally blackberries will become more plentiful and less expensive in the next few months. Take advantage of those juicy gems with indulgent recipes like this cheesecake.
Making cheesecake from scratch is easy and the results are simply incredible, If you’re wanting to make a great first impression on someone special, serve them homemade cheesecake, topped with a fresh berry sauce.
Remember that even a cracked cheesecake is delicious and can be covered if desired with toppings. However, to reduce the chances of your cheesecake cracking, follow these tips:
- Make sure cream cheese, eggs and sour cream are all at room temperature.
- Once the eggs have been added, do not overbeat the batter.
- Do not overbake the cake. It should still jiggle slightly in the center. Leave in turned off oven to finish setting up.
Use any berries in place of the strawberries, if desired. In the coming weeks, Reasor’s and local farmers’ markets will have more of a selection of berries from which to choose.
Citrus Scented Cheesecake with Fresh Strawberry Sauce
- 1 (5 oz.) package graham crackers, crushed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese, softened
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 2 teaspoons vanilla
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon finely grated orange zest
- 4 eggs, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1 1/2 pounds strawberries, halved
- 2 cups water
- 3/4-1 cup sugar
- Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
Preheat oven to 350. Lightly grease a 10 inch springform pan with cooking spray.
For the crust:
- In a bowl, combine crushed graham crackers, sugar and melted butter, stir to combine.
- Press crust into bottom of prepared pan.
- Bake for 8-10 minutes
For the filling:
- Reduce oven temp to 350.
- In a mixer bowl, beat cream cheese on medium speed until light and fluffy.
- Add sugar, vanilla and both zests; mix well.
- Add eggs, one at a time. Beat after each addition, just until egg disappears.
- Fold in the sour cream.
- Pour the cream cheese mixture into prepared pan.
- Bake for 45-50 minutes or until center just barely jiggles
- Turn off oven and let cake stay in oven for another 30 minutes.
- Move to wire rack to cool completely.
For the strawberry sauce:
- In a large saucepan, combine berries, water, sugar and lemon zest.
- Bring to a rolling boil. Reduce heat slightly and continue cooking for another 10 minutes.
- Transfer the mixture to the blender and puree.
- Strain a couple of times through a fine mesh strainer to remove seeds.
- Return mixture to saucepan.
- In a small cup or bowl, whisk together a tablespoon of the sauce with the cornstarch>
- Spoon mixture into sauce and return to a boil Reduce heat and simmer for one minute.
- Strain sauce again, if desired.
- Cool sauce and then chill until ready to use.
- Hull and quarter remaining berries.
- Spoon some of the sauce over individual slices of cheesecake and then top with some of the fresh berries.
Makes 1 (10 inch) cheesecake