Mmmmm! Summertime cheesecakes with berry syrups are here! I made this cheesecake for our weekend blueberry picking party and it was so well-received that I never got a chance to have a piece ... so today, I made another one!
This cheesecake is a simple recipe - full of lemon zest and lemon juice and a combination of Mascarpone and cream cheeses. I have switched out the graham cracker crust and subbed in a crust made with vanilla cookie crumbs. There is a raspberry syrup which is simply made with a pint of crushed raspberries, a few tablespoons of sugar, and some cornstarch. The syrup is cooked until the berries give up all their juices. The strained syrup is dropped onto the cheesecake top and swirled with a chopstick ... I love the easy little hearts ... total cuteness.
Now, if I could just get the top to not crack when I bake and chill it ... that is always my bugaboo when I bake cheesecakes. They taste great, but those darn cracks just get to me!
The extra syrup is drizzled on the plate before I plop a piece of cheesecake atop ... what a tangy sweet tart hit of flavour! Oh, the richness of a silky smooth cheesecake ... I think you'll enjoy this one if you're in the mood to bake. It's not that light fluffy cheesecake that has ricotta in it, it's more dense and the lemon is completely dominant ... so good!
Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Swirls
Bake Temps: 350° F for crust / 300° F for cheesecake
1 ½ c. vanilla wafer cookie crumbs, finely ground
2 tbsp. sugar
3 tbsp. melted butter
Raspberry Syrup Ingredients:
1 pint fresh raspberries, crushed
2 – 3 tbsp. sugar
½ - 1 tsp. cornstarch
Water to help with consistency of the syrup
Cheesecake Filling Ingredients:
1 lb. cream cheese
4 oz. Mascarpone cheese
¾ c. sugar
Zest from one lemon
2 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
Making the Dish:
- Pick over the raspberries and then place them in a saucepan. Crush them, add the sugar, stirring to combine everything. Bring them to a soft boil, lower the heat and stir to make a deep red juicy mash.
- Strain the raspberry mash, using a fine sieve. Return the juice to the stove. Mix the cornstarch with a tiny bit of water to make a paste and add it to the juice, stirring to combine it completely, bring the heat up under the pan and stir to thicken the syrup, just until it coats the back of a spoon nicely.
- Remove the syrup from the heat, cover it, and set it aside.
- To make the crust, place the crumbs and sugar in a bowl, and toss together with the melted butter. Press the buttery crumbs into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch spring form or tart pan.
- Bake the cheesecake crust for ten minutes in a pre-heated 350° oven. Remove and set aside.
- To make the cheesecake filling, whip the cheese together with the sugar until fluffy and light.
- Add the lemon zest, lemon juice, and vanilla and continue whipping.
- Add the eggs, one at a time and whip to a smooth yellow creamy consistency.
- Turn the cheesecake filling into the crust shell.
- Using a teaspoon, drop round drops of raspberry syrup around the top of the filling. Then, use a skewer or chopstick to ‘draw’ swirl design by pulling the skewer through the droplets and along the top surface of the filling.
- Let the design set for a minute or two before popping the cheesecake into the center of the pre-heated 300 ° oven.
- Bake the cheesecake for 1 hour or until the cheesecake is golden at the edges and there is a very slight jiggle at the center of the cake.
- Turn the oven off, tip the door slightly open and let the cheesecake cool in the cooling oven for a time.
- When the cheesecake has collapsed back a bit, remove the cheesecake from the oven and let it cool further on the counter top before placing it in the fridge to chill completely.
- Serve the cheesecake with the remainder of the raspberry syrup, drizzled nicely around the slice.