Blackberry Cheesecake

IMG_0970Hi friends– We have some fledgling blackberry vines tentatively pushing up in our side yard, thanks to our “farmer” neighbor Mr. Wicks.  (thanks Bob!)  But it will be a good while before we harvest any berries off of those things.

So when I saw some beautiful berries on sale at the grocer’s this week, I scooped them up!  And here’s where they landed –on a birthday cake for Betty’s birthday surprise party.  I’m happily sampling a leftover slice as I type this up.  Creamy, berry good.

IMG_0985BLACKBERRY CHEESECAKE

crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 tab. sugar
1/3 cup margarine (2/3 stick), melted

filling:
2 cups blackberries (2 6oz. containers)
24 oz. cream cheese (3 packages), at room temperature
1 cup sugar
4 eggs
1 1/2 cup sour cream

topping:
1 cup sour cream
2 tab. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla
2 cups blackberries (2 6 oz. containers)
1 tab. sugar
mint leaves (optional)

To make the crust, crush the graham crackers in a ziplock bag with a rolling pin (takes about 8 crackers).  Then in a springform pan, mix together the cracker crumbs, 2 tab. sugar and the melted butter.  Press it down into the bottom of the pan and set aside.

For the filling, first cut the blackberries in half (if they are nice large berries) and set aside.  Then with an electric mixer beat together the cream cheese and sugar.  When they are well blended, mix in the eggs and 1 1/2 cup sour cream.

Finally carefully fold in the berries with a wooden spoon.  Then spoon the whole mixture into the pan over the crust.

Put the cheese cake in the oven at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes (it will still be pretty “jiggly”).

For the topping, mix the 1 cup sour cream, 2 tab. sugar and 1/2 tsp. vanilla together and carefully spoon it over the hot cheesecake.  Pop it back into the 350 oven for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese cake is a little more set — It will still be a little jiggly, but will firm up as it cools. I like to let it cool a couple hours at room temperature and then pop it into the fridge for a couple hours to get cold.

Just before you are ready to serve it up, mix the blackberries with 1 tab. sugar.  Then mound them over the cooled cheese cake and decorate with mint or any garnish-y leaves you might have around.

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