Not bad looking for my first attempt at making cheesecake, right? (Yes, I’m pretty proud of myself.) I’m not sure why I’ve never tried making cheesecake before, but it wasn’t that hard, so I’ll definitely be making it again. In fact, I might be making it again for Thanksgiving – my mom has already requested it!
This version, with the huckleberries, was really fun for my party because most of my guests had never tried them before. Huckleberries don’t grow in West Texas, but Jan (my mom’s friend who lives in Montana) had shipped some to me… So this was a real treat (and delicious)!
(Recipe only slightly adapted from this one from Tyler Florence – I just thought it’d be easier to keep it all together here.)
2 c. finely ground graham crackers (approximately 30 squares)
1/2 t. ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
2 ( 8 oz.) blocks of cream cheese, softened
1 c. sugar
1 pint sour cream
zest from one lemon
3 T. vanilla extract
Preheat oven to 325 degrees.
In a mixing bowl, combine the graham crackers, cinnamon and melted butter until evenly combined. Coat the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour the crumbs into the pan, and using the bottom of a glass, press the crumbs into the base and up the sides of the pan (about an inch). Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the softened cream cheese on low for 2 minutes until smooth and free of lumps. Continue to beat slowly and add the eggs, one at a time, until combined. Gradually add the sugar and beat until creamy, about 2 minutes.
Add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla, scraping the sides of the bowl and the beaters to keep the mixture even and smooth. Once well mixed, pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and flatten the top with a spatula.
Set the springform pan on top of a large piece of aluminum foil and tightly fold up the sides around it. Make sure the foil is tightly wrapped to the cake pan sides so no water seeps into the cheesecake. Place the cheesecake pan in a large roasting pan and pour warm water about halfway up the cheesecake pan. Bake for 5o minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle, but it should firm up after chilling. Let cool in the pan for 30 minutes, then transfer to the refrigerator, loosely covered with foil, for at least 4 hours. Loosen the cheesecake from the pan with a thin metal spatula inside the rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate (preferably a pretty one, of course!). Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water, wiping after each cut.
When serving, top each slice with warm huckleberry topping, recipe below.
1 c. water
1 c. sugar
3 T. corn syrup
2 T. cornstarch
2 c. huckleberries
In a saucepan over med-high, heat the water and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium and add the corn syrup. Add huckleberries and cornstarch, stirring until combined. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to low and simmer until sauce thickens. Spoon over each slice of cheesecake and serve while sauce is warm.