Alternate title – Christmas Cheesecake for Samantha. So, last year my mom made this cheesecake for my niece’s birthday, which is right after Christmas. I told her that Ina’s cheesecake was the best, but she chose to use the random recipe she cut out of the newspaper, who knows how many years ago. Well, this time I ate my words along with the cheesecake. It was SO GOOD. Rich had a weak moment and devoured it (this is most definitely not on his diet) and I actually felt sick full but continued to “clean up the edges” or “clean off the knife” every time I walked by. For my birthday this year I decided to make the cheesecake to see if it was as good as I remembered. It was, it was amazing. Now it’s saved for all eternity. It’s somehow lighter in consistency than Ina’s, so a little less “New York” style I suppose. The idea of the topping sounds weird but balances the salt/sweet so well, and I love raspberries or strawberries on top a cheesecake but the raspberries were on sale.
Cheesecake with Raspberries on Top
1 c. walnuts
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 c. sugar
2 c. packed mini Nilla wafers
3 tbsp. butter, melted
2 lb. full fat cream cheese, room temperature
1 1/2 c. sugar
5 large eggs
Juice of 1 lemon (or 4 tsp. to be precise)
2 tsp. vanilla
2 c. sour cream
1/2 c. sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
2 tsp. cornstarch
3 tbsp. water
1/4 c. raspberry jelly or jam
2 small containers raspberries
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Light spray 10 inch springform pan with nonstick spray. In food processor, process walnuts, cinnamon, sugar, and Nilla wafers until smooth. Add butter and process till combined. Press into bottom and up sides (about one inch) of prepared pan. Bake for 5 minutes. Remove. Maintain oven temperature.
- Meanwhile, beat cream cheese in standing mixer until smooth, about five minutes. Slowly add sugar, then eggs one at a time. Add lemon juice and vanilla and beat until smooth. Pour over crust. Bake for 45-50 minutes till top is firm and golden (will puff up significantly). Remove and let cool on top of oven 15 minutes (keep oven temp).
- In small mixing bowl, combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla and whisk till smooth. Smooth over top of cooled cheesecake.
- Return to oven and bake 5 minutes. Let cool completely, at least several hours. Refrigerate several hours or until ready to serve.
- To make berry topping, whisk cornstarch and water until smooth. Add jelly and whisk. Microwave 20 seconds and whisk. Repeat if necessary until smooth and thickened. Let cool a bit then gently stir berries and mixture together until berries are glossy. Remove cake from pan and top with berries. Serve.