I've been a bit lemon crazy as of late, perhaps it's their cheery lemon hue, wonderful tartness, or teamwork skills when paired with a variety of other flavours. Therefore, it's no wonder I leaned on the lovely lemon for our Bake-Off Rematch this past weekend.
With the addition of plump blackberries to my lemony base, the flavour was irresistible - sweet yet tart, creamy yet fresh, and the perfect accompaniment to spring. This was actually the second of two desserts I've made this month using a Lemon-Blackberry flavour combination (the second I will be sure to share soon!).
Going back to a recipe I'd struggled with in the past, I was a bit nervous about how my cheesecake would turn out. However, after cutting the amount of milk to 1/2 cup and baking the base layer for 15 minutes, the cheesecake set up wonderfully.
It did crack - there's my big dirty secret - however after topping it with a generous pile of fresh berries no one was any the wiser.
Recipe adapted from ivillage
2 tbsp melted butter
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
2 pounds cream cheese
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/2 cup milk
1 cup sour cream
1/4 cups flour
1 tbsp vanilla
1 1/2 pints blackberries
1 lemon, zest and juice
(you may want an additional pint of blackberries for decoration)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan.
Combine the graham crackers and melted butter in a bowl and press into the bottom of the pan. (The original recipe called for the crust to extend halfway up the sides of the pan however I did not have enough mixture to do this - you may want to increase the graham crumb and butter amounts to allow for this).
In the bowl of your stand mixer (or using a hand mixer), combine the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Blend in the milk and beat in eggs one at a time until incorporated. Mix in the sour cream, flour, and vanilla until smooth.
Divide mixture between two bowls and set one aside.
In a blender or food processor, puree one pint of blackberries with the lemon zest and juice. Add the puree into one of the two bowls of cheese mixture alone with half a pint of whole blackberries. Mix well.
Pour the blackberry mixture over the graham crust and bake for 15 minutes. The middle will still be slightly jiggly. Remove from oven and carefully pour the plain filling over the cake - I used a measuring cup to gently pour the filling and ensure the bottom layer wasn't disturbed.
Return to the oven and bake for one hour. The outsides will be set yet the middle will still be slightly jiggly. To cool, I like to leave the cake in the oven with the door open for about an hour before moving it to the counter for a couple hours and then finally into the refrigerator.
Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
Taste: A bit tart with a big punch of blackberry flavour. The plain layer compliments the intense berry layer nicely.
Texture: Extremely creamy and light.
Wow Factor: The layered look is quite impressive. For a fancy look play with different topping options such as sugared berries, whipped cream, and lemon zest.
Difficulty: A bit more labour intensive than sinlge layer cheesecake, add the second layer carefully for a clean look.
Serve With: Delicious on it's own or even for breakfast (guilty!), this cheesecake would be delicious for Easter or Mother's Day.