Can you tell it’s raspberry season? The last 4 desserts I’ve posted all feature plump ripe raspberries! I’m running out of summer to try all of the berry treats I’ve got on my mind. I guess I’ll have to set some aside for next year. I just wish these juicy jewels stuck around all year round. But then again, since I’ve started cooking with the seasons, I appreciate them even more. When summer fades into fall and the trees change color, it means I get to go apple picking. And when those leaves fall to the frozen ground, it’s time for pears. And then before I know it, spring is around the corner and berries will be back again. Plus, something that I’ve been deprived of, anticipated and dreamed about all winter long will taste that much better when it finally comes!
Luckily, cream cheese has no peak season (that I’m aware of), so I can have cheesecake any time of year, using whatever fresh toppings are available! This is a basic cheesecake recipe, with the addition of a pretty raspberry swirl. It was thick and rich, yet light and fluffy (if that’s possible). Pretty much perfect. As you can see, despite my careful adherence to the directions, it cracked on top. I’ve added a suggestion for remedying the crack below. Thankfully, crevices in your cheesecake won’t alter the luxurious taste!
Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 1 pacakge, finely ground in a food processor)
2 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp. sugar
2 Tbsp. sugar
6 oz. fresh raspberries
32 oz. cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
pinch of salt
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
4 large eggs, room temperature
6 oz. fresh raspberries, for topping (optional)
powdered sugar, for dusting (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Wrap exterior of a 9-inch springform pan (including base) in a double layer of foil; set aside.
2. Stir together cracker crumbs, melted butter, and 2 tablespoons sugar in a medium bowl. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom of pan. Bake until set, about 10 minutes. Let cool in pan on a wire rack. Reduce oven temperature to 325 F.
3. Process raspberries in a food processor until smooth, about 30 seconds. Pass puree through a fine sieve into a small bowl; discard solids. Whisk in 2 tablespoons sugar, and set aside.
4. Put cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment; mix on medium speed until fluffy, about 3 minutes. With mixer on low speed, add remaining 1 1/2 cups sugar in a slow, steady stream. Add salt and vanilla; mix until well combined. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing each until just combined (do not overmix). Pour cream cheese filling over crust.
5. Drop raspberry sauce by the teaspoon on top. With a wooden skewer or toothpick, swirl sauce into filling. (I only swirled in half of the raspberry sauce and saved the rest to serve on top.)
6. Set cake pan inside a large, shallow roasting pan. Transfer to oven. Carefully ladle boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up sides of cake pan. Bake until cake is set but still slightly wobbly in center, 60 to 65 minutes.
7. Transfer cake pan to rack; let cake cool completely. Refrigerate, uncovered, 6 hours or overnight. Before unmolding, run a knife around edge of cake. (Cooling a cheesecake too quickly results in the cracking you see in the photo above. Next time I will turn the oven off, but leave the cheesecake in the oven with the door propped open until it cools completely. Then I will refrigerate it as recommended.)
Makes 1 9-inch round cheesecake.
(Adapted from Martha Stewart)