Happy 4th of July!!
How can it already be July!?! Godfrey! Time is zipping at a break-neck pace! The boy and his bride have invited us to their home for the 4th...they've also invited us to bring dinner...as in all of the dinner...potato salad, pasta salad, baked beans, corn on the cob, hot dogs, hamburgers, ribs (for him) and chicken (for his bride, as she doesn't eat meat)! They could have come here but then they would have been antsy to leave so they could get back home to blow up the street with their neighbors. It's easier on everyone (but me) to take the feast to them!
Making a cheesecake is easy - waiting for it to be cool and ready to eat is the hard part. I have one other cheesecake recipe on my blog, a Blueberry Cheesecake, which is wonderful and even though it gave me fits the first time I made it, I've made it many times since and have loved it. You can see that recipe by clicking here.
This cheesecake is different by leaps and bounds - different and better. Better because it has more cream cheese and more eggs and two extra egg yolks so it's just plain richer. Sad to say but my Blueberry Cheesecake days are behind me...this is the only cheesecake recipe from here on out for me! Every July 4th I make mini-cheesecakes - it's been a family tradition for years and years...but this year I decided to make a wee change. I told the mister we would not be having the mini-cheesecakes and he was not amused...but when I told him I would be making one giant cheesecake, his surliness disappeared and he had but one request, "Do we have to share it?"
Well yes, yes we do, but not to worry, this baby will serve 12 to 15 pyromaniacs! And it's easy. Graham-cracker crust is a no-brainer...cracker crumbs, a bit of sugar and melted butter, all pressed onto the bottom of a springform pan. If you use a 9-inch springform pan your cheesecake will be much taller than mine. I have TWO 9-inch springform pans but I have the sides only...the bottoms are missing. So I used a 10-inch springform pan and it worked great - it's just not as tall and impressive as the right size pan would have made...oh well. Everything comes together in a mixer, then it's baked for 1 1/2 hours...and then the waiting begins. The cheesecake needs to sit for about another 2 to 3 hours and then it goes into the refrigerator for at least 4 hours (even better if it's in there overnight) before it's ready to serve. It's SO HARD TO WAIT! But SO WORTH IT! Yes, I'm screaming...I'm screaming at the top of my lungs...MAKE THIS! YOU WON'T BE SORRY! This one is truly worth 5 full dangs on the Dang Meter...it's dang, dang, dang, dang, dang good!!! And look, if you don't like raspberries, use strawberries or blueberries or blackberries or go naked...naked cheesecake...who's going to report you?!?
Raspberry Cheesecake - From my Younger Sister Who Looks Older Than Me, Joni Geurts
Needed: One 9-inch Springform Pan
For the crust:
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
For the filling:
2 1/2 lbs. cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon raspberry extract
For the topping:
1 cup seedless raspberry jelly
2 pints fresh raspberries
(Since it this is our 4th of July dessert I added the blueberries - nothing beats a patriotic cheesecake!)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. To make the crust: combine the graham crackers, sugar and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove and allow to cool to room temperature.
Increase oven temperature to 450 degrees. Make the filling: Cream the cream cheese and sugar in a bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into cooled crust. Set on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any leaks (I've never had one leak yet but I figure it's better to be safe.)
Bake for 15 minutes at 450 degrees then turn oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center - that's normal. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight before serving.
Remove the cheesecake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving. (Heat a knife by running it under hot water for a few seconds, then dry with a paper towel.)
To make the topping: melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat, just until all lumps are gone, do not boil. Remove from heat and pour the warm jelly over the fresh raspberries and toss gently. The heat from the jelly will bring out the sugars in the berries - making them super sweet! Arrange berries on top of cheesecake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.