AUSTIN, Texas — Cheesecake is always in season.
This luscious cheesecake is a showcase for the season’s freshest berries. The strawberry-blueberry cheesecake from “Cooking Light Gluten-Free Baking: Delectable From-Scratch Sweet and Savory Treats” (Oxmoor House, $21.95), by Robert Landolphi, uses gluten-free graham crackers, but you could use traditional ones, too, if you’re not worried about the gluten.
A few weeks ago, I was in Missouri visiting my family, and per early summer tradition, we went blueberry picking at a farm near my hometown. In an hour, five of us picked 17 pounds of berries, and since I got home, I’ve made all kinds of blueberry treats, including blueberry oatmeal muffins and a quick blueberry jam.
For the crust:
2 cups gluten-free graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 Tbsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
For the cheesecake:
2 (8-oz.) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
1 (8-oz.) block 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
1 cup fat-free sour cream
2 tsp. grated lemon rind
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 large eggs
For the topping:
3/4 cup fresh blueberries
3/4 cup sliced fresh strawberries
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp. grated lemon rind
3 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
3/4 cup strawberry preserves
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
To prepare crust, combine crumbs, melted butter, 2 tablespoons sugar, and cinnamon in a medium bowl.
Wrap 2 layers of foil around bottom and outside of a 9-inch springform pan; coat inside of pan with cooking spray. Firmly press crust mixture into bottom and 1/2 inch up sides of pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 10 minutes. Cool completely on a wire rack.
To prepare cheesecake, place cheeses in a large bowl; beat with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and next 3 ingredients (through vanilla); beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition.
Pour cheesecake batter over cooled crust. Place springform pan in a shallow roasting pan; add enough hot water to come halfway up sides of springform pan.
Bake at 325 degrees for 1 hour and 20 minutes or until center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
To prepare topping, combine berries, sugar, lemon rind, and lemon juice in a small bowl; let stand 30 minutes. Spread preserves over top of cheesecake; top with fruit mixture. Serves 14 (serving size: 1 slice)
— From “Cooking Light Gluten-Free Baking: Delectable From-Scratch Sweet and Savory Treats” (Oxmoor House, $21.95) by Robert Landolphi