Among the numerous tourists I’ve met over the last two months at Traders, I occasionally get to chat with fellow Americans. This week I was delighted to share a few moments with a couple from New York.
In a fit of nostalgia for the Big Apple (where I’ve never lived for longer than 3 weeks, I must confess) and some of the delicious comforts of home, I decided to make a cheesecake. A REAL Cheesecake. None of this fluffy no-bake marscapone stuff you see at the cafes around here (which, while yummy, too, is just not the same). This is the real thing, and only embellished with a handful of the fresh blackberries ripening in our back garden.
(Ingredients for the cake – rather looks like an ad for Tesco!)
Ta da! The finished product. I can tell you right now, I was not disappointed with the rich and creamy results of my homesick whim. I finally mastered a digestive biscuit crust and the garnish of fresh cream and glistening berries accented with just the right flourish. But the taste! The taste is what transported me back 5,000 miles and several years, to places like Lindy’s in Times Square or the bright red table cloth of my grandma’s kitchen table in Bozeman. Ahhhhh, cheesecake!!!!
Baked Blackberry Cheesecake Recipe
(adapted from the recipe for New York Cheesecake on www.joyofbaking.com)
1 cup (100 grams) of digestive biscuit crumbs
2 Tbls (25 grams) granulated white sugar
1/4 cup (57 grams) butter, melted
16 ounces (1/2 kg) (2 – 8 ounces packages) cream cheese, room temperature (use full fat, not reduced or fat free cream cheese)
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated white sugar
1 1\2 Tbls (18 grams) all purpose flour
3 medium eggs, room temperature
40 ml double or whipping cream
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/3 cup approximately blackberry jam/puree
Grease a 7 or 8 inch springform pan. Place the springform pan on a larger baking pan to catch any leakage while the cheesecake is baking. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (177 degrees C) with rack in center of oven.
For Crust: Combine biscuit crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in food processor and pulse until combined. Press the crumbs evenly over the bottom and about 1 inch (2.5 cm) up the sides of 7 or 8 inch springform pan. Cover and refrigerate while you make the filling.
For Filling: Mix cream cheese, sugar, and flour in a medium bowl with electric beaters. Beat on medium speed until smooth (about 2 minutes), scraping down the bowl as needed. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating well (about 30 seconds) after each addition. Add the whipping cream, vanilla extract and jam and beat until incorporated. Remove the crust from the refrigerator and pour in the filling. Place the cheesecake pan on a larger baking pan and place in the oven.
Bake for 15 minutes and then lower the oven temperature to 250 degrees F (120 degrees C) and continue to bake for about another 1 1/2 hours or until firm and only the center of the cheesecake looks a little wet and wobbly. Remove from oven and cool on wire rack. Carefully run a knife or spatula around the inside edge of pan to loosen the cheesecake (helps prevent the surface from cracking as it cools).
Let cool before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating. This cheesecake tastes best after being refrigerated for at least a day. Decorate top with sweetened whipped cream and fresh berries.