Personal Invention: Raspberry Cheesecake

    I never thought it could happen. I am good at following recipes. I am great at improvising and making them my own. But I never actually thought I could invent one! The process getting to this point was a smooth one - it started with a Rhubarb Pound Cake where I added my own filling to make it unique. That was the beginning. But this recipe marks a new transition because I can honestly say it is my own. It is very loosely based off one I found in Williams Sonoma - but seeing as I changed the amounts of basically everything and most of the ingredients, I like to think it's a Sheila original :)

    What you need:

    Group 1

    2 packages 1/3 fat cream cheese
    1/2 cup sour cream
    1/2 cup Greek yogurt
    1 tsp cornstarch plus an 1/8 of a teaspoon
    1 egg
    1 tsp vanilla
    1 1/4 cups sugar

    Group 2

    a little under 3/4 cup raspberry jam, strained to remove seeds
    1 Tbs raspberry framboise liqueur

    Group 3

    1/3 cup frozen raspberries
    2 Tbs water
    1-2 Tbs sugar
    squirt lemon juice

    Group 4

    1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
    1/3 cup butter, melted

    Mix together the ingredients in Group 4 to make the crust. You might have to add a bit more butter if it seems like it's not holding together. Pour into a greased springform dish and pack into the bottom using a measuring cup to get into the little edges. Bake the crust at 4oo degrees for 10 minutes until it's golden and slightly set.

    Mix together Group 2.

    Over medium high heat, cook together all the ingredients from Group 3. Let this cool, then add it to Group 2.

    Mix together the ingredients in Group 1 - make sure the cream cheese is room temp (or nuke it for about 30 second in the microwave). This ensures there are no lumps in the batter. Then add everything else and beat really well. Sprinkle in the cornstarch, don't dump it in - otherwise it'll clump.

    Take one cup of the batter, put it in a separate bowl and add to this Groups 2 and 3 - making your raspberry layer. Pour this into the bottom of the crust. Pour the rest of the white batter over this and, if you can, use a knife to swirl the two together. If you can't don't worry about it -you'll still see a nice pink layer at the bottom.

    Turn the heat to 300 degrees and bake the cheesecake for about 60 minutes - maybe a little less/more. The center will jiggle slightly and that's fine. The nice thing about the filling is that it doesn't burn as easily as just cream cheese, so you have some wiggle room in terms of over-baking.

    Let it set for overnight in the fridge. Unfortunately, this is the best way to maximize flavor. The cake just gets nice and dense and flavorful. Mmm. Mmm

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