1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted, for preparing pan
Vanilla Cookie Crust:
1½ cup vanilla cookie crumbs (such as Nabisco Nilla Wafer cookies or Lorna Doones)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 cup fresh blackberries, crushed
1 cup fresh raspberries, crushed
1 cup fresh strawberries, chopped small
2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
¼ cup + 2 Tablespoons milk (preferably whole milk)
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
1 cup whipping (heavy) cream
Tip: Use a citrus juicer for freshly squeezed juice.
1 or 2 cups of mixed berries, such as blackberries, raspberries, strawberries, and blueberries
Sweetened Whipped Cream
- Prepare one 9-inch round cheesecake pan or springform pan with 3-inch sides; use a pastry brush to butter the sides and bottom of pan with 1 tablespoon of melted butter.
Vanilla Cookie Crust:
- In a medium mixing bowl, combine vanilla cookie crumbs and melted butter. Stir until thoroughly mixed and mixture is crumbly.
- Pour the cookie crumb mixture into the cheesecake pan. Using the back of a large spoon or the flat bottom of a measuring cup or drinking glass, press the crumb mixture firmly and evenly across the bottom of the pan. Place the pan in the freezer while preparing filling.
- Place the crushed and chopped berries in a bowl together. Let the berry mixture sit at room temperature while preparing the rest of the filling. As the berries sit they develop a wonderful juice.
- Sprinkle gelatin over milk in a small saucepan and let stand for 1 minute. Stir over low heat until gelatin is completely dissolved. Remove from heat, set aside to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, add the cream cheese and sugar and beat on medium speed with an electric mixer until smooth and fluffy, 3 minutes. Slowly add the cooled gelatin mixture, continuing to beat the mixture, and then beat in the lemon juice and vanilla. Scrape the mixture off the paddle and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl with a rubber spatula so the mixture blends evenly and there are no lumps. Set aside.
- In a medium mixing bowl, using an electric mixer beat the whipping cream until thick and stiff. Tip: the cream will whip easier if the mixing bowl and beaters are first chilled; place in the refrigerator to chill until ready to whip the cream.
- Using a large rubber spatula or balloon type whisk, gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture, and then fold in the berry mixture including all the berry juice.
- Pour the cheesecake filling into the chilled cookie crust.
- Cover the pan and refrigerate until filling is firm, 6 to 8 hours or overnight. Try to avoid having the covering touch the top of the cheesecake as this may mar the surface.
- When ready to serve, run a hot knife around the edge of the pan to loosen. Place fresh mixed berries on top of cheesecake. Serve extra berries with individual slices along with a dollop of sweetened whipped cream if desired.
Source: Geary, George, 125 Best Cheesecake Recipes, Robert Rose Inc, Ontario Canada, 2002