Mixed Berry Cheesecake ~ Barefoot Contessa

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Ina made this cheesecake on the Food Networks Thanksgiving Dessert show that I watched last week and when I saw it, I knew I had to make it.  It’s beautiful and delicious.  I used low fat cream cheese, fat free sour cream and splenda blend (1/2 sugar and 1/2 splenda) for the cake.  For the topping I used Simply Fruit raspberry spread and fresh fruit.  Now, the recipe says nothing about using a pan of water underneath it in the oven to prevent cracks so I didn’t but next time I will since it cracked terribly.  Once I put the topping on, you couldn’t see the cracks but still ~ I know it’s cracked, LOL!

This would be fabulous for Christmas or New Year’s dessert.

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Ina Garten’s Mixed Berry Cheesecake

Crust
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1 tablespoon sugar
6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

Filling
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature
2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature
1/4 cup sour cream
1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (2 lemons)
1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Topping
1 cup red jelly (not jam) such as currant, raspberry, or strawberry
1/2 pint sliced strawberries
1/2 pint fresh raspberries
1/2 pint fresh blueberries

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 9-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

To make the topping, melt the jelly in a small pan over low heat. In a bowl, toss berries and the warm jelly gently until well mixed. Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

Serves about 12 depending on the size of your slices.

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Happy Cooking!

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Blackberry~Raspberry Pie

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This pie is so easy to make and since it uses frozen berries, it can be made all year long. I make it in the spring and summer before I can get fresh berries ~ just to whet my appetite for the fresh ones.

This pie is super juicy so make sure you put something in your oven under the pie plate to catch the juice or you will have a mess on your hands (don’t ask!).

Blackberry~Raspberry Pie

1 1/3 cups sugar
2 tbsps quick-cooking tapioca
1 tbsp cornstarch
2 cups frozen raspberries
2 cups frozen blackberries
2 tbsps butter
pastry for double crust pie

In a large bowl, combine sugar, tapioca, and cornstarch. Add berries and toss gently until coated. Let stand for 15-30 minutes or until fruit is partially thawed but still icy.

Transfer berry mixture to pastry-lined pie plate. Dot with butter. Place remaining pastry over filling. Trim and crimp as desired.

To prevent the over browning of the crust, cover edge of pie with foil.

Bake at 375º for 50 minutes. Remove foil from edges and bake for 20 to 25 more minutes or until pastry is golden and filling is bubbly.

Remove from oven and cool on a wire rack.

There will be lots of juice in this pie.

Happy Cooking!

Grand Marnier French Toast with Berry Compote

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Happy Father’s Day!

If you want a special breakfast, this is it. It’s easy to make but tastes like you’ve been cooking all morning. The recipes makes ALOT of berry compote. I am going to freeze the leftovers to use on pancakes or to make a berry shortcake dessert. I used King’s Hawaiian bread because this area is not a hotbed of culinary ingredients so sometimes I have to make do with what I can find. It would be better to use challah if you can get it. I also used thawed frozen mixed berries.

The recipe came from the July issue of Bon Appetit. I did feel that there was too much vanilla in the egg mixture so I would cut it down next time to 1/2 tsp or 1 tsp. Sorry about the picture ~ I never said I was good photographer 😉

Grand Marnier French Toast with Berry Compote

Compote:
1 cup orange juice
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup spiced rum
2 tbsps cornstarch
2 tbsps water
6 mixed mixed fresh berries or thawed frozen mixed berries

French Toast:
8 large eggs
1 cup milk
2 tbsps Grand Marnier or other orange liqueur
1 1/2 tsps vanilla extract
1 cup orange juice
8 1-inch slices of challah, brioche or other egg bread
butter
confectioner’s sugar for garnish

Compote: Place orange juice, sugar and rum in a large saucepan and bring to a boil to dissolve sugar. Stir cornstarch and water together in a small bowl and add to orange juice mixture. Boil until thickened, stirring constantly, about 1 minute. Add the berries, reduce heat to medium, and stir until berries soften and are heated through, about 3 or 4 minutes.

French Toast: Whisk together first 4 ingredients, then whisk in orange juice. Transfer to 15×10 glass baking dish. Add bread slices to the egg mixture; turn to coat. Let stand until bread absorbs most of the egg mixture, turning bread occasionally.

Heat griddle or large heavy frying pan over medium heat. Melt butter. Cook French toast until browned and cooked through (firm to touch in center), about 3 minutes per side. Keep warm in 250º oven (on a cookie sheet) if needed while cooking rest of toast.

Divide French toast among the plates, spoon compote over the top and dust with confectioner’s sugar.

Serves 6 to 8

Happy Cooking!