Arianna's Cheesecake with Fresh Berries
- 1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1 1/4 cup sugar
- 1/3 cup unsalted butter , melted
- 1/4 tsp. cinnamon
- 3 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese , room temperature
- 1 cup sugar
- 3 large eggs , room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream , room temperature
- 2 Tbsp. lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp. vanilla extract
- 1 1/4 cup sour cream
- 3 Tbsp. sugar
- 2 pints fresh raspberries or strawberries (if using strawberries, slice them in half)
To make crust: In a medium-size bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, cinnamon and butter until moistened. Press the crumbs using your hands into the bottom of a 10x3-inch spring form pan. Bake for 15 minutes, cool completely.
Reduce the oven temperature to 325°.
To make filling: In a mixer, using the paddle attachment, mix the cream cheese for two minutes, stopping twice to scrape down the sides of bowl. Add the sugar in an even stream and mix for 2 more minutes until light and fluffy. Remember to stop at least twice to scrape down the sides of bowl.
Add the eggs one at a time, processing after each addition to incorporate thoroughly and scrape down the bowl each time.
Add the sour cream, lemon juice and vanilla. Process until well blended. Scrape down the bowl.
Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly in the pan. Lift the pan and tap it on the counter several times to release tiny bubbles in the batter.
Bake for 1 hour or until the top is set. Use a toothpick to test—if it comes out clean, it is ready. If it still wiggles in the middle you, need to bake more.
Use the top of your finger to gently press the middle of the cake. If it does not jiggle and instead bounces back nicely, remove from oven. Do not overbake!
While the cheesecake is baking, combine the sour cream and sugar. Set aside.
Spread the sour cream mixture over the cheesecake immediately after removing from the oven. Return the cake to oven for 5 minutes to set.
Cool completely on a wire rack, then cover with aluminum foil and freeze overnight. Take out of freezer the morning you are going to serve it. After an hour, release and remove the pan sides.
Top with berries and serve.