Yes I am home from vacation and found myself back in the kitchen, one of my favorite places to be. For mother's day, my nephew Jack and I collaborated on the most important part of the day, dessert. We decided to go with my favorite, cheesecake. And to make it mother's day marvel, I went with a berry swirl topped with even more berry goodness. Cheesecake, although feared by most, is a very easy and simple dessert to make. Prep time for me, ends up being under 30 minutes, which is pretty amazing for such a decadent dessert.
Kristin's Berry Swirl Cheesecake
For a 10 inch spring form pan
Shortbread cookie crust:
1/2 c. butter
1/4 c. powdered sugar
1 c. flour
Cream butter and sugar in a mixer until completely combined, make sure to scrap the bottom of the bowl. Add flour, and mix until combined. In a buttered spring form pan, press dough on edges and about 3/4 up the edges. It should have no more than ¼ inch depth, so you may have extra dough. Make sure the crease of the pan (in between bottom and sides) doesn’t have a build-up of dough. You will want a consistent depth all around.
Take a piece of heavy duty foil (or two sheets of regular) and shinny side down, place your pan on top, and fold the foil up the outside of the pan. Bake at 375 for 10-12 minutes. Edges should be golden brown, if you notice the edges are browning before center is cooked through, turn the temperature down.
24 ounces of cream cheese (3 boxes)
¾ c. sugar
1 T. vanilla
¼ t. salt
1 ½ c. sour cream
1/3 c. - 1/2 c. berry preserves (any flavor or make, I prefer my Mom's homemade boysenberry)
Cream the sugar and cream cheese in a mixer or with beaters. Add one egg at a time, scraping the bottom of the bowl after every egg. When completely combined (it is very important that you have no lumps, so the first few steps are crucial) add vanilla salt and sour cream. Mix until smooth. Pour filling into crust, smooth out top.
You may want to water down the preserves just a bit, it should drizzle off the spoon, not drop. Take the preserves and spoon onto the top of the uncooked cheesecake in a swirl pattern. Using a butter knife, not cutting into the crust swirl around the batter a few times, allowing the preserves to sink down into the batter a bit. Be sure not to over mix, you want the preserves still intact, not mixed in (it loses the effect).
Bake for about 1 hour and 30 minutes at 330 degrees. It can be tricky to know when the cheesecake is done. The top should lose it's wet luster and have a dull look to it and it should be set. Check at the 1 hour mark first. Turn the oven off, open the door, and leave the cake in for about 20 more minutes. Mare sure you place on a rack for an hour or so before placing in the fridge. You should keep the cheesecake refrigerated for at least 48 hours before serving. I actually prefer 3 days, if you are thinking that much ahead of time.
Decorate with fresh berries and watered down berry preserves. You can make your own berry drizzle with frozen fruit, sugar and a little bit of water, cook down until the sauce is the desired consistency.