Lizzie Dean’s Ultimate Cheesecake with Raspberry Puree

Mary Anne here. Over the years, my mother has become famous in her small town for her amazing baking skills. Oftentimes when I phone her on Sunday morning, she’s busy in the kitchen whipping up a batch of mint brownies, fruit pies, or one of her famous cheesecakes.

Around the holidays, former colleagues and new acquaintances place advance orders for her delectable confections. She charges them a paltry sum, just enough to cover her costs…she’s only interested in one type of dough. She taught me much of what I know about baking and instilled in me her love for the art of preparing pastry.

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Lizzie Dean’s Ultimate Cheesecake with Raspberry Puree
Serving: 12 generous slices

Notes: This freezes incredibly well. If you decide to make it, you can cut the leftover cake into individual portions or as a whole. Wrap in a layer of plastic and then a layer of tin foil. Make sure to seal tight and then place in the freezer. It’s good for at least a month.

You’ll need a 10-inch round spring form pan. That’s the baking pan that has a latch on the side that releases the cake after baking.

Crust Ingredients:
1 ½ cups graham cracker crumbs  –  $4.99
¼ cup sugar – from stock
¼ cup melted butter, slightly cooled – from stock

Filling Ingredients:
4 (8oz.) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature – $11.56
6 large eggs    – from stock
½ pint heavy cream – $2.49
1/3 cup sour cream – $1.59
1 teaspoon vanilla – from stock
1 ¾ cups sugar – from stock
2 Tablespoons flour – from stock
2 Tablespoons lemon juice – $1.99

Ingredients for Raspberry Puree:
1 16 ounce bag of frozen raspberries (or mixed berries) – $9.58
2 Tablespoons granulated sugar (or to taste) – from stock
2 teaspoons lemon juice, again according to your own taste – calculated for cheesecake already
Grand Total of Cheesecake WITH Puree and a Well-Stocked Pantry: $32.20
Cost per Serving: $2.68

Directions for Cheesecake:
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Prepare crust by mixing graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and ¼ cup sugar.  Press into bottom and halfway up sides of ungreased 10” spring form pan.

2. In large bowl of mixer, blend cream cheese with eggs, beating in one egg at a time.

3. Add remaining filling ingredients, beating well.

4. Pour into prepared crust and bake at 325 degrees for one hour.  Do not open oven door!  Cake is not done.  Turn off oven, but allow cake to remain inside as it settles and finishes baking in for another hour.

5. Now you may remove it from the oven.

6. Finish cooling cake on wire rack, then refrigerate at least 24 hours.

Note: Often, this particular cheesecake cracks during the second hour in the oven.  We’ve never been able to figure out why, but the marred surface in no way compromises the spectacular taste and texture of the final product. When my efforts do render a less than perfect result, I cover the defect with fresh raspberries/strawberries and mint leaves, or slices of Kiwi fruit.  I also serve this with a raspberry puree, if the spirit moves me.  But the cheesecake can always stand alone, quite nicely.

Directions for Rasperry Puree:
1. Defrost berries if using frozen

2. In the bowl of a food processor, using the metal blade, puree berries with lemon juice and sugar.  This mixture keeps beautifully for several days stored in an airtight container in the fridge.



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