Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Fruity Adventure into Cheesecake.

Adding or putting fruit into a recipe, including desserts, isn't something new.  It adds sweetness, nutritional value and, in most cases, just makes it so much prettier and inviting to eat.  Once again I've been making cheesecakes, so want to share how to make those lovely swirl and/or fruit topped cheesecakes you "Oooooo" and "Awwww" in the bakery windows.

While you could cook up fresh fruit, and by adding sugar make the needed puree; the easiest thing to do is go to the supermarket and buy a can of pie filling.  Yes, that's all you need to make a "WOW" cheesecake and impress your family, friends and guests when dessert time comes around.

Lets get to some artistic work in the kitchen.  The photos I'm posting will be of cherry and blueberry cheesecakes; it's that easy!  Also, with this type of cheesecake, you don't have to use the Bain Marie method to bake it.  Any cracks that develop during baking will be covered up by the fruit topping.  However, you should use the Bain Marie method if you are just going to use the puree to make the swirl; then no cracking in the cake.

Fruit Swirl and Topped Cheesecake


For the Crust

1 ½ cups crushed graham crackers
5 Tbsp melted butter

For the Cake

1 (21 oz) can fruit pie filling (cherry, strawberry, blueberry or mixed berry)
2 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
1 (8 oz) package mascarpone cheese (use regular cream cheese if not available)
1 cup sugar
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
3 large eggs


Spray a 9 inch springform pan with baking spray; place a piece of parchment paper, cut to fit the bottom, inside the pan; spray also with baking spray. Mix the crushed graham crackers with the melted butter; press onto bottom of pan. Place in refrigerator for a half hour to set.

Preheat oven to 325F. Place a strainer over a small mixing bowl; pour contents of pie filling into strainer; use a spatula to move filling around to allow puree to strain into the bowl. The puree is thick, so lift strainer up slightly and scrape off bottom to allow continuous straining. One cup is needed for the cake swirl. Place remaining puree and fruit into a bowl, cover with plastic wrap and place in refrigerator to use as topping.

In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar and vanilla extract on high until well blended. Add the eggs and beat on low speed until well blended. Pour the batter over the crust and smooth out with a spatula. Gently pour the one cup of fruit puree onto center of batter; use a small spatula to swirl the puree throughout the batter.

Place inside oven on center rack; bake for 60 minutes; sides of cake will rise up more than center. Turn off heat, prop open oven door and wait for 30 minutes before removing from oven. Set pan on counter, run a knife around the rim of the cake to loosen sides; refrigerate overnight.

Before serving cake, evenly spread out the reserved puree and fruit over indented section of the cake.

Makes 12 servings.

Mary Cokenour

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