Monday, July 2, 2012

Mascarpone Cheesecake with Berries

Thanks to the addition of mascarpone, this cheesecake is ultra smooth and creamy. Luscious is the word that comes to mind. If you make it for your Fourth of July cookout, I guarantee you that even if all the hot dogs fall in between your grill grates, one bite of this and your guests won't care. Of course once they're finished, they'll remember and start making fun of you again. But for a few glorious minutes, you'll be untouchable.

Makes 10 to 12 servings

70 vanilla wafers (8 1/2 oz), finely ground in a food processor (2 1/3 cups)
1 stick unsalted butter, melted and cooled

20 oz cream cheese (2 1/2 eight-ounce packages), softened
8 oz mascarpone cheese at room temperature (about 1 cup)
3/4 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt

1 cup sour cream
1/4 cup sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1/8 teaspoon salt

Make crust:
1.      Put oven rack in middle position and preheat oven to 350°F. Butter bottom and side of a 9-inch springform pan.
2.      Stir together cookie crumbs and butter in a bowl. Reserve 1/4 cup crumb mixture for sprinkling over cheesecake, then pat remainder onto bottom and 1 1/2 inches up side of springform pan (about 1 inch thick). Put pan in a shallow baking pan and bake until golden, about 10 minutes. Cool completely on a rack, about 25 minutes. Leave oven on.
Make filling while crust bakes:
3.      Beat cream cheese, mascarpone, and sugar in a large bowl with an electric mixer at medium high speed until fluffy, 3 to 5 minutes. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Add vanilla, lemon juice, and salt and mix at low speed until combined. Pour into cooled crust and bake until cake is set and puffed around edge but still trembles slightly when pan is shaken gently, 35 to 40 minutes. Cool slightly in springform pan on rack, about 20 minutes. (Cheesecake will continue to set as it cools.) Leave oven on.
Make topping:
4.      Stir together sour cream, sugar, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt in a small bowl and spoon over cheesecake, spreading gently and evenly, leaving a 1/4-inch border around edge.
5.      Bake cheesecake until topping is set, about 10 minutes. Run a thin knife around edge to help prevent cracking. Sprinkle top with reserved crumbs and cool completely in pan on rack, then chill, loosely covered, at least 8 hours. Cheesecake can be chilled, loosely covered, up to 3 days. Cut cake with long, thin sharp knife dipped in a tall glass of hot water.

barely adapted from Gourmet, December 2003 (from Syrah in Santa Rosa, California)
nilla wafers
nilla wafer crumbs with melted butter
crumb crust pressed into the pan

I didn't reserve any crumbs for the top because I decided
to add berries. Consequently, the sides of my crust were
a little higher than if I had used less crumbs.
mascarpone, cream cheese & sugar (evaporated cane juice)
mixed; adding the first egg
adding the third egg
adding vanilla, lemon juice and salt
filling mixed
pouring filling into baked crust
baked filling

I baked my cake in a water bath (I wrapped the bottom of the
springform pan with foil, placed the cake in a pan and filled it about
2 inches high with water). You don't have to do this. It just helps cook
the cake more evenly and avoid cracks. But since you're topping
the cake anyway, you don't need to worry about cracks.
sour cream topping ingredients
sour cream topping spread on top
baked, cooled, chilled overnight and unmolded

You gotta love a great dessert you can make the day before.
berries arranged on top
I made a glaze with Polaner all-fruit seedless raspberry jam
- warmed & thinned with a little Chambord (raspberry liquor)

You definitely don't need to add a glaze, but I like the flavor from
the liquor and the jam adds a touch of sweetness (which is especially
nice if your berries aren't as sweet as you hoped they'd be).
brushing on the warm glaze

You can add the berries & glaze the day before too.
mascarpone cheesecake topped with berries
slicing (it helps to dip the knife in a glass of
warm water and then wipe it between slices)

1 comment:

Randi said...

Looks so gorgeous, delicious and patriotic.

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