Ever dive into a cheesecake with fresh raspberry sauce dripping off the sides?I confess, my family has eaten half a dozen of these raspberry cheesecakes within the last couple months as I tweaked the recipe. But I think they’ll forgive me.
I decided to create my own recipe for raspberry cheesecake because it’s really a mashup of several cheesecake tips all in one place. Two of the best tips came from Smitten Kitchen and The Pioneer Woman. They transformed cheesecake creation forever in this house!
The first game changer was realizing I didn’t have to do a graham cracker crust like everyone else. I’m not a big fan of the graham. Ree Drummond (The Pioneer Woman) uses vanilla wafers and pecans instead. Totally up my alley! So in a huge salute to her I give you a tweaked version of that crust.
Process about 3 cups vanilla wafers and 1/4 cup pecans together until sandy. Then in a separate measuring cup melt 6 tablespoons of salted butter. I only use salted. Arrest me. And mix in 1 teaspoon of vanilla extract to the melted butter.
Turn the mixture over into an 8 inch springform pan thats been lightly greased. If you’re new to springform pans you’ll be glad to know they can be found cheap. I’m using the smallest of the Mainstays Spring Form Pan, 3 piece set from Walmart. And it’s just fine.
Pack it down firmly. This little measuring cup is perfect for the job.
Really pack it tight and get the sides all even. It will look picture worthy and cry out for you to eat it as is, but RESIST. Tuck it away in the fridge while you take care of the next part – the filling!
Lovely cream cheese, you are so lovely. 3 packages (8 oz. each) at room temperature go right into your KitchenAid electric stand mixer. Or use a hand mixer (sigh). Whip them up for a minute and then add 1/4 cup of sour cream and 1 teaspoon vanilla extract while it’s still going. This softens the mixture up a bit and breaks down any cream cheese clumps. We want this cheesecake to be clump-less.
While that’s mixing, measure out 1 cup of granulated sugar and add 1 tablespoon of all purpose flour in the same measuring cup. Give that a little stir with a fork. Also crack open 3 eggs that have also been sitting out at room temperature into a separate bowl.
Slowly incorporate the eggs (one at a time) and the sugar/flour mixture to create a silky smooth batter.
Grab your crust out of the fridge and place it on a baking pan. It’s there to catch any leaks as it bakes and has saved my kitchen from the dreaded smoke smell. It also adds another layer to the bottom to protect the crust from burning.
Now crank that oven up to 500 degrees. WHAT?! I know I know. Cheesecake is a low and slow process. But I learned this amazing technique from Deb at Smitten Kitchen when she made her New York cheesecake and I tweaked it to work for me.
You’re going to place the cheesecake in that piping hot oven for 10 minutes. I don’t understand why, but in all my cheesecake trials and tribulations this technique has worked the best for me.
After 10 minutes, open it up for a second to let some hot air escape. Then while the cheesecake is still inside turn the temperature down to 200 degrees and bake another 40 minutes. Check that the cheesecake is set on the sides but gives a slight jiggle in the middle for prefect done-ness. Run a knife along the edges between the crust and the springform pan (if you can).
Now we begin an even slower process of cooling down the cheesecake in a way that prevents cracking.
With the cheesecake STILL INSIDE the oven, turn off the heat. Open the oven door slightly so that the hot air slowly seeps out for 45 minutes. Then open the oven door all the way for another 15 minutes. If you skip this process you will surely have at least one crack if not several all across your cheesecake because it shrinks as it cools. Steady and slow keeps everything together quite nicely.
Let it keep in the fridge for at least 4 hours. If you haven’t the patience to do this, I get it. But try if you can!
You can see that my cheesecake has shrunk down a tiny bit more from setting in the fridge. The flavors have all melded together and the vanilla is going to sing! You could eat it right there for some classic New York style cake time. But I prefer to give it another boost.
Homemade raspberry sauce.
Cover with some plastic wrap or foil and give it 30 minutes in the fridge to set OR 10 minutes in the freezer. I mean, if I had to choose between waiting 30 minutes or 10 minutes I know which one I’d pick…
Once the sauce sets, it’s time to break off the sides of the springform pan.
- 3 cups vanilla wafers
- ¼ cup pecans
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 packages (8 oz. each) cream cheese
- 3 eggs
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1.5 cups fresh raspberries
- ⅓ cup granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- Process vanilla wafers and pecans in a food processor until dusty. Melt butter in separate bowl and add vanilla extract, stir together. While the wafers and pecans are processing, slowly pour the butter/vanilla mixture into the food processor until it looks like semi-wet sand. Dump out into the springform pan and flatten out even up the sides. Place in the refrigerator while you prep the rest.
- In an electric stand mixer beat cream cheese and sour cream until soft and combined. While that's mixing, measure out sugar and flour into a little bowl and whisk together. Also crack 3 eggs into a separate little bowl. Slowly (on low!) alternate adding flour/sugar mixture and eggs (one at a time) to the cream cheese mixture.
- Preheat oven to 500 degrees. Take springform pan with crust from the refrigerator and place on a rimmed baking pan. Pour cream cheese mixture into the crust. Transfer to preheated oven for 10 minutes watching very carefully. Open and close the door once to let a puff of air out and then turn temperature down to 200 degrees letting it bake another 40 minutes. Then turn the oven off completely and crack open the door to let the hot air slowly seep out for 45 minutes. Then open the door wide for 15 minutes. After this you can remove the cheesecake from the oven and place in the fridge to set for at least 4 hours.
- When the cheesecake is almost done setting you can begin making the raspberry sauce. Add raspberries, sugar, and water to a small saucepan and bring to boil for 3 minutes. After that, remove from heat to cool slightly. Then pour and spread over the cheesecake. Let it set in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or the freezer for 10 minutes. Carefully remove springform pan siding and serve!