Adapted from The Cake Book by Tish Boyle
Though this cake is made with rich ingredients, it's got a light texture and a fresh lemon flavor. And because it doesn't require baking, it's the ideal choice for a summer dinner party dessert. If you like, you can skip the raspberry topping and serve it with Gingered Berry Compote, a refreshing accompaniment to the Lemon-scented cheesecake.
Honey Graham Cracker Crust:
1 1/4 cups (5 oz/142 g) honey graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons (1.3 oz/37 g) granulated sugar
4 tablespoons (2 oz/57 g) unsalted butter, melted
1 cup (240 ml)whole milk
2 1/2 teaspoons powdered gelatin*
1 cup (7 oz/200 g) cream cheese
1 cup (240 ml) heavy cream
1 cup (8.5 oz/242 g) sour cream
1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon (0.3 oz/8 g) finely grated lemon zest
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup (3.7oz/103 g) seedless raspberry jam (not preserves)
Three 6-ounce (510-g) containers fresh raspberries
Make the Crust:
Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Grease the bottom and sides of a 9 x 3-inch springform pan.
In a medium bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Pat the mixture evenly into the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake the crust for 8 minutes, until lightly browned. Set the pan on a wire rack and cool the crust completely.
Make the Filling:
Place 1/2 cup of the milk in a small container. Sprinkle the gelatin over the milk and set aside to soften.
Place the remaining 1/2 cup milk, the sugar, and cream cheese in a medium saucepan and cook over medium-low heat, whisking constantly, until the cream cheese melts and the mixture is smooth, about 3 minutes. Add the gelatin mixture and whisk until the gelatin is dissolved. Pour the mixture through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, and cool to room temperature.
In the bowl of an electric mixer, using the whisk attachment, beat the cream, sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla extract at high speed until the mixture just begins to form soft peaks. At low speed, beat in the cooled cream cheese mixture. Increase the speed to medium and mix until the filling is well blended and smooth.
Scrape the filling into the prepared pan, and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, until set.
Make the Raspberry Topping:
Remove the cheese cake from the refrigerator. Run a sharp thin-bladed knife under hot water and wipe it dry, then run the knife between the cake and the side of the pan to loosen the cake (run the knife under the water again a few time, wiping it dry, to keep it hot). Carefully remove the side of the springform pan. Return the cheesecake to the refrigerator while you prepare the topping.
In a small saucepan, bring the raspberry jam to a simmer over low heat. Cook, stirring constantly, for about 1 minute, until smooth and thickened. Remove the pan from the heat and cool to room temperature.
Using a pastry brush, gently brush the jam over the top of the cake, covering it completely. Starting in the center, arrange the raspberries in concentric circles over the jam, covering the top of the cake. Refrigerate for a least 1 hour before serving.
Thirty minutes before serving, remove the cheesecake from the refrigerator. To serve, slice the cheesecake thin-bladed knife, dipping the blade in hot water and wiping it dry after each slice. Dust the top of each slice lightly with sifted confectioner's sugar.
Store, without the topping, in the refrigerator, covered, for up to 5 days; with the topping, refrigerate, loosely covered, for up to 8 hours.
Yield: Serves 10 to 12, makes one 9 1/2 cake
Dairy/Difficulty rating: 2 "cake slices" = intermediate level
*KosherEye recommends Kolatin Real Kosher Gelatin
**Strawberries with strawberry jelly or blueberries with blueberry preserves may be substituted for the raspberries and seedless raspberry jam