Summer Berry Cheesecake

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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.
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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. 

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Comfort One Pot Dish

When the first frost is about to stake a claim on the season, it's time to prepare warming, comfort food. Chicken Pot Pie is the first one-pot-dish that comes to mind. It's probably the single most popular main entrée available at your grocer’s frozen food aisle. 


Many restaurants will also feature it on their menu this time of year, and one restaurant that comes to mind that does Chicken Pot Pie real well is the Publick House in Sturbridge Massachusetts. It may be the roaring fire and New England colonial ambiance-thing they have going on, especially in Fall, that made that pie taste so good. The wine also assisted. My dear friends Shari Alexander and John Bills took us there when we were taping my TV show in MA. BTW- if visiting the Sturbridge area in Massachusetts, a wonderful place to lay your head for a night or two is The Red Maple Inn in Spencer, Mass., it's in good proximity to autumnal activities like antiquing. Ask about Dinner & A Movie, and Shari's fabulous breakfasts and afternoon tea.

But, if you can’t make it to Sturbridge, there’s nothing easier than preparing Chicken Pot Pies from scratch with a 1,2,3 pie dough, or make it semi-scratch by using pre-bought pastry. Other options include; puff pastry, biscuit dough, brioche, or top noodles Dutch-style as you'll find in Lancaster PA.