Sep 29, 2013

Raspberry Cheesecake

I'm back! And I have missed you! I've missed cooking, baking, picture taking, and writing all about the yummies! But, I promise I've had a good excuse. No - a GREAT excuse. Want to see what's been keeping me from you? This:

That's a good enough reason, right? I definitely think so. As much as I love cooking, I do NOT love cooking when pregnant. Even once I pass the everything-I-look-at-makes-me-want-to-vomit stage, I still don't have the energy nor the desire to make anything. And once my sweet baby arrived, I would much rather stare at her all day long than bake even the most delicious of foods in my kitchen.

However, now the big kids are back in school, the leaves are changing colors, my little one is taking longer naps, and I am happily back in my kitchen. I do have lots of miscellaneous recipes from the summer to play catch up on, but eventually I'll get there. In the meantime... take a look at this amazing thing!  

This summer we went with my sister and her family to a u-pick raspberry farm on the island. I've picked plenty of wild berries in the past, (which means stomping on pokey vines, swatting at bees, blowing spiders out of the way, and ending the day with my hair sticking out everywhere and scratches all over my arms) but had never been to a beautifully groomed and bug-free raspberry farm. We just let the kids pick as many as they could and after what felt like only 15 minutes we had filled our basket with 15 pounds of gorgeous berries! 

We ate most of them plain (they were amazing!) but my husband spoiled us with this amazing cheesecake. It was so creamy and smooth and had just a slight orange kick to it that complimented the raspberries perfectly. It can also be made with frozen (and then defrosted) berries. Instead of arranging the berries on top, just add a tablespoon more of cornstarch to the glaze before cooking it, mix the berries in, and serve as a sauce.


Raspberry Sauce
12 ounces (about 2 2/3 cups) fresh raspberries
1/4 cups granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch

Graham Cracker Crust
10 whole graham crackers, broken into pieces
1/2 cups pecans, toasted
1/3 cups granulated sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted

4 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
2/3 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cups sour cream
1 tablespoon cornstarch
4 large eggs
1/3 cups orange juice concentrate
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Raspberry Cheesecake Topping
12 ounces (about 2 2/3 cups) fresh raspberries
2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar

Raspberry Sauce
Puree raspberries in a blender or food processor until smooth. Press through a mesh sieve to remove seeds. Pour puree into a measuring cup and add enough water to make 1 cup, if necessary. Whisk raspberry puree, sugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan until blended. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat and cook, stirring constantly, 1 to 2 minutes or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and let cool.

Graham Cracker Crust
Preheat oven to 350°F. Pulse graham crackers, pecans and sugar in a food processor to make fine crumbs (NOT in a Vitamix... we're not trying to make flour!). If you don't have a food processor, just add the ingredients into a Ziploc bag and smash with a rolling pin. Add 2 tablespoons raspberry sauce and melted butter; pulse or stir until combined. Press mixture onto bottom of 9 x 3-inch springform pan with removable bottom. Bake 10 minutes. Cool completely. Reduce oven to 325°F.

Combine cream cheese, sugar, sour cream and cornstarch in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low to medium (not high!) speed 2 minutes. Beat in eggs one at a time. Stir in orange juice concentrate and vanilla; pour into prepared crust.

Set the springform pan on a piece of wide heavy-duty aluminum foil. Fold the foil carefully up the sides of the pan without tearing it. Set the pan in a large baking dish or roasting pan and place on oven rack. Pour in enough boiling water to reach halfway up sides of the springform pan.

Bake 1 hour at 325°F. Turn off oven and prop the door ajar with the handle of a wooden spoon. Let cool in the oven for 1 hour. Gently remove from oven and cool completely. Remove from springform pan.

Heat remaining raspberry sauce in a microwave-safe bowl on high (100 percent) power 30 seconds, or just until warm. Spread evenly over top of cheesecake; refrigerate 1 hour.

Raspberry Cheesecake Topping
Top cheesecake with remaining raspberries and dust with confectioners' sugar.

recipe adapted from driscoll's.

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