The second Barefoot Blogger recipe for the month of August is this beautiful mixed berry cheesecake. The recipe was chosen by Nathalie of Snowbell Jewelry and it is so impressive, even if I didn’t make it in it’s original form. Our extended family is not arriving for the Labor Day Holiday until the end of the week so I was making this for just the two of us. The two of us do not need a dessert that contains 2 1/2 pounds of cream cheese. So instead of making the cheesecake in a springform pan, I reduced the recipe and made five individual cheesecakes.
The cheesecake was delicious, with a special freshness from the lemon zest. The berries give it a “WOW” factor and are glazed with jelly to make them shimmer. I will definitely be making this again.
So many of The Barefoot Contessa recipes are winners. It has occured to me that many of the dishes I will be serving over the holiday have come from Ina’s cookbooks. My daughter-in-law is celebrating a birthday so I am making Ina’s Strawberry Country Cake. For breakfast one morning I will be making her Potato Basil Frittata. And as side dishes with our cookouts, I will be making her Panzanella Salad and Sagaponack Corn Pudding. This cheesecake would be perfect for your Labor Day celebration. Enjoy.
MIXED BERRY CHEESECAKE
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
For the topping:
1 cup red jelly (not jam) such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry
1/2 pint sliced strawberries
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 pint fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.
To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.
Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.
To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss berries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.