Berry Cheesecake

Hi all– With berries ripening outside the kitchen door and a whole gaggle of people coming in for Matt and Andrea’s rehearsal dinner this weekend, it was the perfect combination for Berry Cheesecake.  Creamy, cool, fruity on a summer’s evening…

BERRY CHEESECAKE

CRUST:
1/3 cup melted butter
2 tab. sugar
1 1/2 cup graham crackers crumbs

Put about 8 graham crackers in a heavy plastic bag and smash them with a rolling pin.  Then stir them together with the sugar and melted butter and pat them into the bottom of a springform pan (or pie dish).  Refrigerate while you make the cake.

FILLING:
3 8oz. blocks of cream cheese
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup sour cream

Beat the cream cheese and sugar together thoroughly with a mixer.  Then beat in the eggs and sour cream.  Spoon the whole thing over the crust and bake at 350 degrees for 60 to 70 minutes until the cheesecake is lightly browned and just a bit jiggly in the pan (it will firm up more as it cools).

BERRIES:
2 cups sliced strawberries
1 cup blackberries (or frozen blueberries out of season)
2 or 3 tab. strawberry glaze (sold in tubs in the produce section)*

Mix them all up and spoon onto the cooled cheesecake.

My sister taught me the trick of putting a pan of water on the bottom rack of the stove while the cheesecake is cooking to help prevent some cracking on top as it cools.

*At first I pureed my own strawberries and cooked them with cornstarch etc. to make the glaze, but it never came out as beautiful as that gooey stuff you get at the store.  Plus one carton of that stuff lasts forever (almost) in your fridge.

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