Bensonhurst Kitchen: Cheesecake W/ Blackberry Bourbon Sauce

As the weekend draws closer in the midst of a brutally hot heatwave, I’m reminded of a place where people really know how to enjoy life and take it easy.

In a homage from all of us here in good old Brooklyn, New York to the good people of New Orleans, Louisiana, Colleen brings us the classic New York cheesecake decked out for a four hour lunch in luscious blackberry bourbon sauce.

Consider this a reminder for y’all out there to experience joie de vivre to the fullest.

Bon appétit!

Colleen’s Classic Cheesecake With Blackberry Bourbon Sauce

Ingredients:

Cheesecake

4   8 oz packages Philadelphia Cream Cheese, softened
1 cup + 3 tablespoons sugar
4 eggs
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
5 tablespoons of melted butter

Blackberry Bourbon Sauce

2 cups of fresh blackberries
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons of bourbon
1 tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons water
8 peppercorns (optional)

Directions:

Cheesecake

Preheat oven to 325 degrees

Mix graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons of sugar and melted butter. Press evenly into the bottom of a 9 inch spring form pan.

Beat cream cheese, 1 cup of sugar and vanilla extract with mixer until well blended and creamy.  Add eggs one at a time, mixing batter well after each egg.

Pour batter in spring form pan over the graham cracker crust.

Bake for approximately 50 minutes or until the center is almost set (should jiggle just a little).

Allow cheesecake to cool on a wire rack until it is room temperature. Then refrigerate for at least 4 hours before removing the rim from the pan.

Blackberry Bourbon Sauce

Place the blackberries, sugar, peppercorns and bourbon into a saucepan, place over medium heat.

Slowly bring to a simmer, stirring gently to mix. Cook until the blackberries have softened, about 10 minutes.

Dissolve the cornstarch in the water and stir mixture into the simmering berries.

Continue cooking and stirring until the sauce has thickened and reached your desired consistency, about 10 minutes.

Strain sauce to remove peppercorns and seeds.

Chill.

TIPS:

Although humidity is kryptonite for most of us, it is God’s gift to cheesecake makers. Humidity keeps cheesecakes from cracking when they bake. So if you don’t have humidity in your corner from mother nature while baking, create your own. Place a shallow pan filled about an inch high with water on the lower rack of your oven, with your cheesecake on the top one.

To check if a fruit sauce is done, dip a metal spoon in the sauce. If the sauce evenly coats the back of the spoon without being runny, you have achieved consistency perfection!

For illustration purposes, Colleen cut the recipe to 1/4, creating a miniature version

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