Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Foraging 27 & Recipe: Blackberry Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake

Just because you don't live near a bakery doesn't mean you have to go without cheesecake. – Hedy Lamarr

There were still plenty of blackberries on the canes in the country.
I was lucky this last weekend. I just hit the last flush of this year’s blackberries. The past several weeks have been “interesting” to say the least. As such I wasn’t on top of harvesting many foods when I should. I thought for sure I had missed them. But I didn’t!

I hope everyone enjoyed it. I think they did.
The berries were not as plentiful as they would have been at their height, but the ones that were still hanging were excellent.

I wanted to do something a little different than I usually do (freeze and make trifle at Christmas) so I dreamed this up.

I don’t want to write a whole lot of intro, as the recipe is rather long and involved. So let’s just get down to it.

I took this to work with me to share with my coworkers. They’ve put up with a lot from me over the last several difficult months. In a small way I hope that it says “thank you.” I really do appreciate them.

By the way, you could make your own Ricotta easily (search this blog for Ricotta). You can also make your own cream cheese (look here.) I was lazy. Making the cheesecake was enough for me for one day...

Blackberry Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake with Blackberry Glaze
Prep: 20 min  |   Cook: 1 hr 20 min  |  Serves 12

Tamp the crust down with a measuring cup to make it even.
Graham crust
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
4 tablespoons butter, melted
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp cinnamon

300 g whole milk ricotta, drained 
2 8-oz packages cream cheese, room temperature 
1 cup sugar 
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tbsp lemon rind 
4 large eggs
1-1/2 cups blackberries
2 tsp cornstarch

Blackberry glaze
1-1/2 cups blackberries
1/2 c. sugar
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp cornstarch

Make the blackberry purée for both the cheesecake and glaze by boiling the berries
and straining. Don't do them at the same time, but separately for each step.
Preheat the oven to 350°F.

Wrap the outside of a 9-inch spring form cheesecake pan with a layer of heavy-duty foil. This will protect the cake during the hot water bath when it bakes.

Combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, sugar and cinnamon in a food processor and process until the crumbs are moistened. Press the crumb mixture over the bottom of the prepared pan with a measuring cup. 

Bake until the crust is golden, about 15 minutes. Cool the crust completely on a cooling rack.

Add the blackberry purée to a reserved part of the batter.
Beat the ricotta in a mixing bowl until smooth. Add the cream cheese and sugar and blend well, stopping the machine occasionally and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Add in the lemon juice and zest. 

With the beaters running, add the eggs one at a time and mix each just until blended. Remove and reserve 1/4 of the batter. Pour the rest into the graham crust.

In a small bowl, mash the blackberries, then strain through a sieve to remove the seeds. Add the cornstarch to the resulting juice and mix well. Combine the juice with the reserved cheesecake batter and mix well. The result will be thin.

Gently swirl the two batters together and bake. This after baking.
Pour the blackberry batter on top and swirl the two batters together with a knife without mixing too much.

Place the cheesecake in a baking dish large enough to hold the spring form pan with some room on all sides. Pour hot water into the baking dish to come halfway up the sides of the spring form pan.

Bake in the centre of the oven until the cheesecake is set and the centre still moves slightly when the pan is gently shaken, about 1 hour and 5 minutes. The cake will set up firmer as it cools. Let cool for 1 hour on a wire rack.

Pour the glaze over the cooled cheesecake and tilt it to spread evenly. You may not need all the glaze.
After the cheesecake has cooled, make the blackberry glaze. Crush the blackberries and mix with the sugar in a saucepan. Mash and cook until the juice is extracted and the sugar is dissolved. Strain out the seeds and pulp.

Pour the strained liquid back into the (washed) saucepan. Add the lemon. In a little dish mix the 2 tsp of cornstarch with 2 tsp of the juice. Pour back into the liquid and mix well. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly, until the mixture thickens. Cool slightly then pour over the cheesecake.

This cheesecake is not too sweet with hints of lemon and berry flavours.
Refrigerate until the cheesecake is cold, at least overnight. Cut the cake into wedges and serve.


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1 comment:

  1. Thanks for such a decadent cheesecake Darrell and for sharing it with us..we were all silent + enjoying every bite! ;)