I often volunteer to bring dessert for special occasions, especially birthdays. When Dexter resident Mary Jo Czubko celebrated her birthday recently, she requested cheesecake. These are two favorites. Brian’s cheesecake is named after my son-in-law because he loved it and I made it before and inbetween overseas deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan. And of course, upon his safe return!
The second cheesecake is great, also and is gluten-free since it is made without a crust.
- 1 cup chocolate wafer cookie crumbs
- 1 1/2 cups chopped almonds
- 1/4 cup butter, melted
- 2 1/2 cups raspberries, fresh (or thawed, if frozen)
- 2/3 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons cornstarch
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 3 8-ounce packages of reduced fat cream cheese
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 2 egg whites
- 1 cup Half and Half
- Cooking Spray
- 1 cup raspberries, fresh
- 2 tablespoons raspberry liqueur, water, or juice
Place chocolate wafer crumbs and nuts in food processor or blender; process until finely ground and combined. Stir crumb mixture and margarine together. Press onto the bottom an 8 or 9-inch springform pan. Bake in 350-degree oven for 8-10 minutes or until slightly set. Let cool while making raspberry sauce. Raise temperature to 375 degrees. Blend the 2 1/2 cups raspberries until smooth; press through a sieve to remove seeds.
Add water if necessary to make 1 cup. Combine 2/3 cup sugar with cornstarch in a small saucepan; stir in sieved raspberries. Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly. Reduce heat; cook and stir 2 minutes more. Stir in lemon juice. Remove approximately 1/4 cup of sauce and chill until serving sauce. Cool remaining 3/4 cup sauce slightly while making cream cheese filling.
Combine cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, flour, and vanilla in large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer till smooth and fluffy. Add egg whites, beating on low speed just until combined. Stir in Half and Half. Spray sides of pan with cooking spray. Pour half the mixture into crust-lined pan. Drizzle the 3/4 cup raspberry sauce over cheese mixture in pan. Carefully top with remaining cheese mixture, covering sauce completely. Place spring form pan on a shallow baking pan in preheated 375-degree oven.
Bake for 35-40 minutes or until center appears nearly set when shaken. Run a thin blade around edge of the pan; cool on wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen crust from pan sides. Cool 30 minutes more; remove sides from pan. Cool completely. Chill at least 4 hours. At serving time, top cheesecake with 1 cup raspberries, if using. Add whipped cream for decoration, if desired. Stir liqueur or juice into reserved sauce to spoon over top of cheesecake and berries.
- 32 ounces cream cheese (softened)
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon Grand Marnier
- 4 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2/3 cup fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons lemon zest
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 4 teaspoons cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Generously grease a 9-inch springform pan. Beat cream cheese until light. Add sugar and Grand Marnier, beating until thoroughly combined. Add eggs one at a time, beating well after each. Fold in sour cream, lemon juice and peel. Pour into prepared pan. Bake until outside is set but center still moves slightly when pan is shaken, about 1 hour and 15 minutes. Cool on rack.
Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight. Run a sharp knife around pan to loosen side if necessary. Release pan side. Cover with lemon glaze or arrange berries on top.
Combine sugar with cornstarch; blend in water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil, stirring, until thickened. Cool; pour over cheesecake. Chill overnight. Can be frozen.