In the past I have always made my Raspberry Cheesecake with frozen berries. When I first came up with the recipe, it was wintertime and the fresh raspberries were not very good. The frozen worked just fine, but since it is summertime now, and the raspberries are delicious, I decided to switch to fresh berries for the cheesecake.
I am glad that I did, although rest assured that your cheesecake will be devoured whether your raspberries are fresh or frozen.
The berries were not the only change I made this time around. I realized that Nabisco had downsized their graham cracker packages so much that using one package of graham crackers would not yield enough crumbs to make an adequate crust. Seriously, this was very frustrating for me.
I have been using Nabisco Graham Crackers for as long as I have been baking cheesecakes. They have always been my reliable go-to cracker. I was able to buy a box knowing that I had enough crackers for three cheesecake crusts.
Well, times have certainly changed. The price of the graham crackers has gone through the roof. I accept that all grocery prices have increased. If Nabisco had increased the price but kept the package size the same, I would not be ranting about this.
Because they did not, I found myself in the position of guessing how many graham crackers it would take to get the crust I wanted. I believe the old box weighed 16 ounces (1 pound.) I used my kitchen scale and weighed enough graham crackers to reach 5.35 ounces, which turned out to be 1 package plus 1-1/3 crackers from a second package.
Unfortunately, I will no longer get three crusts out of one box and I will need to get creative in order to finish up the other crackers from the second opened package; I do not bake cheesecakes often enough to prevent these extra crackers from becoming stale. I sure hope Samuel likes peanut butter and jelly on graham crackers or else we will have to start making more s’mores in this house!
I feel better knowing that we all understand why we are no longer able to read a recipe and use “1 package of graham crackers” without altering how many crackers we actually need. Now that we have the solution, crusts on our cheesecakes will be just right.
Just in time, too, as this Raspberry Cheesecake with its raspberry jam/kirsch topping that gets decorated with fresh raspberries is an ideal way to end a summer meal. I know many people feel that calling a cheesecake ‘light’ is an oxymoron, but in this particular case, it fits perfectly.
- 5.35 ounces graham crackers (10-1/3 crackers)
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 3½ tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- Cream Cheese Filling:
- 6 ounces fresh or frozen unsweetened raspberries, thawed to room temperature
- 2 tablespoons heavy whipping cream
- 4 - 8 ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¾ cup seedless raspberry jam
- 1 teaspoon kirsch liquor
- 2 - ½ dry pints raspberries
- Preheat the oven to 325°. Set aside a 10" cake pan.
- For the crust:
- Combine the graham crackers and sugar in a food processor fitted with a metal blade and process until it is the consistency of powder. Add the melted butter and pulse on/off until well blended. Grease the cake pan with nonstick cooking spray. Transfer the crust mixture to the pan and pat evenly onto the bottom and up ¼” of the side. Set aside.
- For the cream cheese frosting:
- Place the thawed raspberries and cream into a blender or mini food processor. Puree until smooth, scraping the side of the blender/food processor down as needed. Set aside.
- Beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth and creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping the bowl down as needed. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until smooth. Add the vanilla. Remove from the mixer and swirl in the raspberry puree using a spatula, this should not be completely blended together.
- Pour the filling into the pan and bake at 325° for 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and cool completely on a cooling rack. Refrigerate for several hours or overnight.
- Cover a 12” round cakeboard round with plastic wrap. Place the cheesecake in a larger pan. Fill halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan with very warm water. Let sit for about 20 seconds. Take cheesecake out of the water and dry the pan. Cover with the 12” covered cakeboard and turn upside down. Tap firmly once or twice against the countertop to loosen the cake from the pan. Remove the cake pan. Place a serving plate over the bottom of the cheesecake and invert. Prepare the topping.
- For the topping:
- Place the jam and kirsch in a small saucepan. Cook over low heat just until the mixture is smooth. Cool to room temperature. Pour evenly over the top of the cheesecake, leaving a ¼” rim of cheesecake showing. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.
- Wash and dry the raspberries. Place them on the top of the cheesecake, starting on the outside and working towards the center. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Betsy's tidbit:
- Raspberry Cheesecake may also be prepared in a springform pan. Once the cake cools, remove the side of the pan and refrigerate for several hours or overnight before topping.