Summer Berry Cheesecake

Local berries of all types are in everywhere, and are at their peak - the perfect inspiration for topping my classic New York Style Cheesecake. So I suggest you run out to your local farm stand and get them while they are there! 

TIP: 

  • Bake it blonde, with no color. Put a small piece of foil loosely on the top of the cheesecake an hour into baking to keep the cheesecake from coloring on top.


New York Style CheeseCake
Recipe by Chef George Hirsch | Makes 12-16 servings
chefgeorgehirsch.com | George Hirsch Lifestyle Magazine

To prepare the crumb bottom:
1-1/2 cups *vanilla wafers, grind into crumbs, or good cake crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Line bottom and sides of a 10 inch tart pan, or 9 inch spring form baking pan with parchment paper. Parchment paper can overlap sides to make removal of cheesecake easier after baking. Place cookies in food processor; process until fine crumbs form. In a bowl mix cookie crumbs, melted butter and press onto bottom of pan. Refrigerate ten minutes.

2 pounds, 4-8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup Turbino (natural sugar in the raw) sugar
2 teaspoons cornstarch 
1 teaspoon vanilla 
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons lemon zest
3 whole eggs, beaten and at room temperature
3 yolks, add to whole eggs
1 cup sour cream, room temperature

To prepare cheesecake:
Preheat oven to oven to 400°F.

At medium speed with an electric mixer cream the cream cheese until smooth. Mix cornstarch with sugar and add to cream cheese. Reduce the mixer speed to low until well blended. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating on low speed after each addition, mix just until blended. Stop mixer and scrape sides of bowl well after each addition. Add vanilla and sour cream in two stages, stopping mixer and scrape bowl after each addition. Pour cheesecake filling over crumb bottom.
Bake 10 minutes at  400°F.; lower temperature to 225°F and continue baking 1 to 1 1/2 hours, or until center is set. 

Cool 1 hour, un-mold cheesecake carefully from baking pan, refrigerate 2 hours. 

Add a Topping:
2 cups fresh mixed berries
1/4 cup raspberry jam, warm

Just before serving, arrange berries on top of cake. Warm jam in a microwave safe container for a few seconds, to slightly melted. Drizzle jam on top of berries and serve. 

image: JurgaR | istock