Wish Upon A Dish: Very Berry Layer Cheesecake

August 9, 2013

Very Berry Layer Cheesecake

I was going to post this back when it came out of the oven but I was so sure no one would want to make a cheesecake that needed slightly more loving care then the usual dump & bake kind.

The Nudge said this one was worth it, and not fussy, really.

There was not one step that even he couldn't handle (promise) and the end result would be worth some small iota of fussing (cross my heart).

It is no secret that I am the Cheesecake Lady. I started selling Pumpkin Cheesecakes to pubs and bars back when no one ever heard of pumpkin flavored cheesecakes.

One thing I have never tried to do was to make a three layer cheesecake. Oh, I have seen the ones where they pour each layer down the middle, forcing the bottom layer to spread (no fuss there), but those are not ruler straight layers. I wanted a layered baked cheesecake like the no-bake refrigerator ones, each layer nice and straight on top of each other.
It worked better on paper than in real life when pouring on the second layer (lemon) made depressions in the bottom layer (see pic).      

There had to be a better way and as I walked around the kitchen looking for some inspiration, I spotted my piping bag and that's when it hit me.
If I baked each layer just enough to give it strength, it could hold up to a gentle piping of the next layer. As you can see by the pic, it worked quite well. It was so easy, I was surprised I did not think of it straight up.

This was light and very berry and a great "summer" cheesecake. Right now the berries are bountiful and cheap, cheap, and cheap. I used 2/3 less fat and sugar than my regular decadent cheesecakes and the summer berry filling cried out for light and the berry sauce adds to lightening up the cream cheese mixture. A marriage made in, well, my kitchen.......
I was very happy with this cake and I think once you start thinking about what other cheesecakes can be made using this layering technique you will be right on board.

Candy corn cheesecake (orange, white, yellow), Thanksgiving (pumpkin, vanilla, maple), Fourth of July (red, white, blue) and then there's the customizable ones for St. Patty's Day or Cinco de Mayo. It's endless!!

You probably are wondering if you could use a low sugar jam. You could, but the measurements will not be the same as if you used fresh berries and that will effect the bake times. I can not guarantee the finished cake will have the texture of a light whipped cheesecake.
Very Berry Layered Cheesecake
Prep time: 1 hour
Cook time: 80 minutes
Unattended time: 5 hours
Yield: 1 (10") cheesecake

Fruit sauces:
* 1 pint blackberries, washed
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tablespoons Truvia Baking Blend
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* Pinch salt
* 1 pint raspberries, washed
* 1/2 cup water
* 2 tablespoons Truvia Baking Blend
* 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
* Pinch salt
* 1/3 cup lemon pie filling
* 4oz lite sour cream

Cheesecake base:
* 1 brick full fat cream cheese
* 2 bricks nuefchatel cheese
* 4oz lite sour cream
* 3 large eggs
* 2 tablespoons flour
* 1 teaspoon salt

* 1 3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
* 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
* 2 tablespoons sugar

10" spring form pan
Parchment paper
2 zip top bags or 2 piping bags
Offset spatula
Large stainless steel serving spoon

To make the berry sauces:
1. Place the blueberry sauce ingredients in a saucepan and simmer until the mixture thickens and puree.
2. Repeat with the raspberries.
3. Remove to a bowl and cool completely.

Lemon sauce:
1. Whisk lemon filling with sour cream. Reserve.

To make cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 300°.
1. Mix the crust ingredients with a fork until evenly mixed. Press into the bottom of a 9" springform pan that has been lined with parchment.
2. Bake for 11 minutes, remove and cool.
3. In a bowl of a stand mixer, food processor or blender, mix the cheesecake base.
4. Remove base and divide into three separate bowls. Mix each bowl of base with a sauce.
5. Fill two zip bags or piping bags, one with the lemon and the other with the raspberry.
6. Pour blueberry mixture on top of the cooled crust and bake for 20 minutes. Remove and cool for 15 minutes.
7. Carefully pipe the next layer on top of the blueberry one by starting around the edges in a circle until you hit the middle. Use a wet offset spatula to carefully spread the filling as you would if you were icing a cake.
8. Bake another 20 minutes and repeat with last layer and bake another 20 minutes.
9. Shut off the oven but DO NOT REMOVE. 
10. Use a wooden spoon or kitchen towel to crack the oven door 2". Let the pan sit in the oven for 1 hour more. Remove and refrigerate for minimal 8 hours.
11. Place pan on top of can and release the spring to drop the sides down.

Serve and enjoy. Now go and make your favorite layers and let me know how it turns out.

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