GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Lifestyle

May 22, 2013

Red, blue berries add patriotic color to cheesecake

Memorial Day weekend is special and this cheesecake is festive to look at, and will certainly be a special dessert to serve.

Making a great cheesecake is easier than you think.

Follow these techniques for cheesecake success:

Make sure cream cheese is softened so that it will mix more easily and quickly. Have sour cream and eggs at room temperature.

Use a springform pan. The removable outer rim allows for easy release while leaving crust intact. Spray sides of pan very lightly with cooking spray before filling to help prevent sticking and cracking.

Preheat oven for 15 minutes. Bake cheesecake on middle rack of oven unless recipe indicates otherwise. Place a 13-by-9 inch pan half-filled with hot tap water on bottom rack of oven while cheesecake bakes. This just keeps moisture in the oven to prevent cracking.

Do not over beat. Over-mixing can add too much air into the batter.

Beat in eggs one at a time just until blended. You can also stir eggs in by hand with a spatula.

Refrain from opening the oven door while cheesecake is baking; it causes drafts that may lead to cracking.

Do not check for doneness with a knife. The cheesecake is done if the top is slightly puffy and set except for a small area in center that should still appear soft and jiggly (size of silver dollar). This will set while cooling.

When done, place cheesecake on a wire rack to cool.

Loosen immediately by running a knife around edge of cheesecake. Do not unlock fastener or remove from pan for about an hour.

To remove from pan, unlatch fastener and lift straight up. Refrigerate overnight to allow flavors to blend

Red, White & Blue Cheesecake

Serves 12 to 16.

Use a 9-inch springform pan

Ingredients

1 cup graham cracker crumbs

3 tablespoons sugar

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