Berry Berry Cheesy

Jul 16, 2015

I have the sweetest tooth in the world. I’d be okay eating chocolate covered strawberries for the rest of my life. Fill my plate with jelly beans and I’m in heaven. Load a cupcake with icing and watch me drool. Topping the list of my favourite desserts is cheesecake! It’s one of those desserts that seems to separate audiences - more people in my household are opposed to it than are in favour. But my friends and I made cheesecake last week, and this cheesecake was different; this one brought my family together in agreement and brought people back for days on end raving about it. Seriously. It’s life altering, sure to bring you buckets of praise, and it’s made with the Greenbelt berries of your choice!

It’s already strawberry season in the Greenbelt, and in the coming weeks, we’ll begin to see the arrival of raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, and other berries. Over 280 farms in the Greenbelt grow berries, representing 21% of strawberry crops and 16% of raspberry crops in Ontario. Most of these farms are located in Niagara. Summer brings an abundance of berry recipes; from desserts, to salad toppings and beverages, there is no shortage of berry good recipes to keep you and your kiddies happy, all summer long. Try making this blueberry and blackberry cheesecake with your own favourite berry combination, and have a fantastic Canada Day!

Blueberry and Blackberry Cheesecake

2 c. graham cracker crumbs
¼ c. white sugar
½ c. butter, melted

3 packages cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 large eggs
1 tbsp. vanilla extract

2 cups of blueberries
1 cup of blackberries
1 tbsp. cornstarch
¼ cup of sugar
1 tsp lemon juice (optional)

Make crust:
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees farenheit
2. If you prefer to see your cheesecake outside of a pan, use a springform pan, which can easily be removed after baking. I used a regular, non-stick circular pan to make my cheesecake.
3. In a large bowl, mix all ingredients using a spoon or your hands.
4. Grease your pan, then pour graham cracker crumb mixture into pan.
5. Using a flat bottomed surface (E.g. bottom of a large glass), press the crumb mixture against the bottom and sides of the pan, and smooth out so it is even.
6. Set aside

Make filling:
1. To make your life easier, use an electric mixer to beat cream cheese, sugar, eggs and vanilla. Or, if you’d like to work on your arm muscles, use an old fashioned spoon and arm grease.
Baking cheesecake
1. Pour filling into crust.
2. Place pan in larger roasting pan. Pour hot water into roasting pan, so that it comes about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. This method of cooking helps prevent burning and ensures a more even cooking process.
3. Bake cheesecake until it is solid in the center, and golden brown around the edges. This process should take about 1 hour.
4. Let cool completely.

Make topping:
1. In a pot, combine berries, sugar, and cornstarch.
2. Boil for 2-3 minutes, until all ingredients have melted, and fruit is tender.
3. Pour mixture over cooled cheesecake.
4. After berries have cooled completely, refrigerate cheesecake.

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