Very Berry Cheesecake

Very Berry Cheesecake

40 vanilla wafers – finely crushed (about 1 1/2 C.)

6 T. butter – melted

2 packages (8 oz. ea) reduced-fat cream cheese or regular cream cheese, softened

3/4 C. sugar

2 T. all-purpose flour

2 t. vanilla

1 C. cream-style cottage cheese

1/4 C. blackberry brandy, cherry brandy, or orange juice

3 eggs

3 1/2 C. red or gold raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries and/or chopped, pitted dark sweet cherries

1 T. sugar

1 T. blackberry brandy, cherry brandy, or orange juice

Stir together the vanilla wafers and margarine in a medium mixing bowl; transfer to an 8 inch springform pan. Press the mixture onto bottom and 1 3/4 inches up the sides of pan. Set aside.

Place the cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, the flour and vanilla in a large mixing bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Set aside.

Place the cottage cheese in a blender container or food processor bowl. Cover; blend or process until smooth. Stir into cream cheese mixture. Stir in the 1/4 cup brandy. Add eggs all at once. Beat on low speed just until combined; do not overbeat.

Pour half of the cheese mixture into the springform pan. Sprinkle 1 cup of the fruit on top. Carefully top with the remaining cheese mixture and 1/2 cup of the remaining fruit. Place in a shallow baking pan in a 375° F. oven.

Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or until the center appears nearly set when shaken.

Cool completely. Remove sides of pan. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours, or until serving time.

For fruit topping, combine the remaining fruit, the 1 tablespoon sugar, and the 1 tablespoon brandy in a medium bowl. Cover and refrigerate for 2 hours.

To serve, cut cheesecake into wedges and serve with fruit topping.

Makes 12 servings.

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