Classic Baked Cheesecake with Mixed Berry CompotePrint
- For the mixed berry compote:
- Blueberries: 1.5 cups (fresh or frozen. If frozen, do not thaw)
- Strawberries, hulled and sliced: 1.5 cups (fresh or frozen. If frozen, do not thaw)
- Granulated sugar: 4 tbsp
- Lemon juice: 1 tbsp
- Ginger powder: 1/2 tsp
- For the crust:
- Speculoos cookies: 1.5 packet/300 gm (you can use graham crackers or any other digestive biscuits)
- Butter, melted: 4 tbsp
- You MAY want to add a tbsp of granulated sugar depending upon the sweetness of your crackers. I didn't.
- For the filling:
- Full-fat cream cheese, at room temperature: 3 bars/675 gm
- Granulated sugar: 170 gm
- Sour cream (or Greek yogurt), at room temperature: 240 gm
- Vanilla extract: 2 tsp
- Eggs, at room temperature: 3
1. In a deep-bottomed pan, plonk the blueberries, strawberries and sugar over medium heat. Once the berries start releasing their juices, add 1-2 tbsp of water, bring to a boil, lower the temperature and let it simmer, covered. Stir intermittently to prevent the mixture from sticking to the sides of the pan.
2. Add the lemon juice and ginger powder and stir well. Add a splash or two of water if the mixture becomes too dry. Let it simmer for 30-40 minutes until the consistency is neither too thick nor too syrupy, just spreadable. Stir in between. Remove from heat and allow to cool. (But bear in mind that the compote will firm up a bit once rested and cooled).
For the crust:
1. Place the oven rack to the last but one position and preheat to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 9-inch round springform pan and set aside.
2. Break the crackers roughly and keep them in a zip lock bag, Beat them with a rolling pin until crumbly. Pour in the melted butter, sugar (if using) and massage well until combined. (You can do the entire process in a mixer also)
3. Pour the cracker crumbs on the bottom of the prepared pan and slightly up the sides. Press with your hands or the back of a glass until smooth. Tightly wrap an aluminum foil on the bottom and around the walls of the pan. Spread some dry beans on the crust and blind bake for 7-8 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool.
For the filling: (I used my brand new KitchenAid stand mixer that P gifted me on my birthday to make the filling. You can do it by hand if you want to give it some real good workout. Otherwise, a hand held mixer should work just as fine)
1. In the bowl of the mixer and using the paddle attachment, whip the cream cheese and granulated sugar together for 3-4 minutes.
2. Add the sour cream and vanilla and continue to beat. Make sure all the components are fully incorporated in the mixture. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, if necessary.
3. Add the eggs one at a time and mix until just blended.
5. Bake for 55-60 minutes. The cheesecake should be almost set by now, with a slight jiggle in the middle. Do not overbake. Turn the oven off and open the door slightly. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven for 1 hour. Remove from the oven and allow to cool on a wire rack for 30-40 min or until cooled completely. Resist the temptation of digging into it right away. Patience pays off, trust me!
6. Refrigerate the cooled cheesecake for 6 hours to overnight (I let it sit for 48 hours). Unmould the cheesecake carefully. It should be firm enough by now to come out neatly.
7. Spread the mixed berry compote on top of the cheesecake surface and garnish with fresh strawberries. Cut into neat slices and serve after dinner to make the meal a memorable one!