Classic cheesecake topped with four type of berries – blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, and raspberry. If these berries are not available, feel free to use and combine any fresh or frozen berries for the sauce.
If you’re looking for a simple yet indulgent dessert, this classic vanilla cheesecake with rustic mixed berry sauce is for you. This cheesecake is a perfect combination of sweet and tangy flavors and smooth yet rich textures. I actually find it easier to make a cheesecake as compared to a cake. Ingredient list is fairly short. Assembly is easy – no layers to level and frost! However, to have a successful cheesecake here are some things to keep in mind…
Highlights for Successful Cheesecakes:
Look at the top of the cheesecake photos. Isn’t it so smooth and not a crack in sight?! That’s no easy feat if you’ve baked your share of cheesecakes.
- Cheesecakes need a little more TLC when it comes to baking. The trick is gentle, even baking. We do this by baking the cheesecake in a water bath. To create a water bath, set a springforam pan in a deep baking pan and place in the oven. Add hot water to come halfway up the side of the springfoam pan. I’ve dealt with some frustating leakage before so it’s important to keep the cheesecake sealed off from the water. I recommend using a good quality springfoam pan and wrapping it with 2 sheets of heavy duty aluminum foil.
- Do not overbake your cheesecake. Bake the cheesecake until the top is firm to touch but the centre has a slight jiggle. Turn off the oven and leave the cheesecake in for 1 hour, with the oven door slightly ajar. The residual heat of the oven will continue to cook the cheesecake even after the heat has been turned off.
- Fully cool the cheesecake before chilling it in the fridge. Cheesecakes need many hours in the fridge before unmolding so you have to allot ample time. Bake cheesecakes the day before serving for best results.
This cheesecake is a perfect combination of sweet and tangy flavors and smooth yet rich textures.
I always like to add lemon zest to my cheesecakes to add a punch. For me it tastes flat if it’s just all cream cheese. Having said that, this cheesecake can be eaten as it is, but the sauce adds another layer of texture and flavor. The rustic mixed berry sauce is not so sweet and you can actually bite the fruits (including the soft strawberry seeds). No need to strain them – plain and simple. You can also use the sauce on waffles, pancakes, and ice creams.
Classic Vanilla Cheesecake with Rustic Mixed Berry Sauce
For the Graham Cracker Crumb Crust:
- 126 grams graham cracker crumbs (1 1/2 cups )
- 25 grams granulated sugar (2 tablespoons )
- 57 grams unsalted butter, melted (1/2 stick / 1/4 cup )
For the Filling:
- 750 grams cream cheese (room temperature) I use Philadelphia
- 31 grams all-purpose flour (1/4 cup )
- zest of 1 lemon
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 121 grams sour cream (1/2 cup )
- 250 grams granulated sugar (3/4 cup)
For the Rustic Mixed Berry Sauce
- 222 grams fresh or frozen mixed berries (blueberry, strawberry, blackberry, raspberry) (about 1 1/2 cups)
- 67 grams white granulated sugar (1/3 cup )
- 8 grams cornstarch (1 tablespoon )
- 118 ml 1/4 cup / 59ml boiling water (1/2 cup )
- Preheat oven to 325 F (165 C). Wrap the outside of a 9-inch springfoam pan with 2 sheets of aluminum foil.
Make the Graham Cracker Crumb Crust:
- Mix the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl. Add the melted butter and mix until evenly combined. Spread the mixture evenly into the bottom of the springfoam pan. To keep the crumbs from sticking to your fingers, place a piece of plastic wrap over the crumbs and press them through the wrap using a flat bottom measuring cup. Chill in the freezer (without the plastic wrap) while you make the filling.
Make the Filling:
- In a bowl of a stand mixer fitted with paddle attachment ,beat the cream cheese on medium high speed until smooth, about 3 minutes. Turn mixer to low speed and add the flour and lemon zest. Scrape down the sides of the bowl at least once.
- Increase the speed to medium and add the vanilla, then the eggs (one at a time), beating well after each addition. Scrape the sides of the bowl then add the sour cream and beat until combined. Add in the sugar and beat for another 30 seconds on medium-high speed.
- Pour the filling over the crust. Bake the cheesecake in a water bath by setting the springfoam pan in a deep baking pan and place in the oven. Pour hot water halfway up the side of the springfoam pan, making sure that the water does not go beyond the aluminum foil that was used to keep the water away from the cheesecake.
- Bake for 50 to 60 minutes or until the top is firm to the touch but the centre has a slight jiggle. Turn off the oven and let the cheesecake stay in the oven for 1 hour, with the oven door slightly ajar. The residual heat of the oven will continue to cook the cheesecake even after the heat has been turned off.
- Remove the springfoam pan from the water bath and place it on a wire rack to completely cool. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to set overnight before removing the sides of the pan.
Make the Rustic Mixed Berry Sauce:
- Combine all the ingredients in a small saucepan. Stir. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce is thickened and translucent. Allow to cool at room temperature.
- Serve chilled cheesecake with the rustic mixed berry sauce.