Chef Dominic Zumpano of The Gallery in Lake Forest tells us this lovely sour cream cheesecake works well with a variety of crusts. We’ve baked it in a pecan-graham crust and added a luscious berry swirl on top, but you can make it with an Oreo cookie, shortbread, or other cookie crust if you prefer.
The Gallery’s Sour Cream Cheesecake
Makes two 6-inch cakes
For the crust:
• 2 6-inch springform pans
• 1 package honey-graham crackers (9 whole crackers) to make 1 cup crushed
• 1 cup pecan meal (pulse approximately 1 1/2 cups whole pecans into a fine crumb in a food processor or order online at Guidry Organic Farms)
• 1/2 cup sugar
• 1 stick (1/2 cup) butter, melted
For the filling:
• 16 ounces cream cheese (two 8-ounce chubs), softened
• 2/3 cup sugar
• 4 large eggs
• 1 cup heavy cream
• 1 cup sour cream
• 2 teaspoons vanilla paste
• 1 tablespoon fresh-squeezed lemon juice
For the berry swirl:
• 2 tablespoons each, seedless raspberry and blackberry jam
In the bowl of a food processor, break up 9 graham crackers. Pulse to grind crackers into a fine powder. Add pecan meal. Pulse again to combine crackers with pecans. Add sugar and melted butter. Pulse again to combine. Spray two 6-inch springform pans with non-stick vegetable spray; fit the bottom of each pan with a circle of baking parchment. Press the crumb crust up the sides and into the bottom of each pan. Set aside.
Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In the bowl of a stand mixer with paddle attachment, whip cream cheese with sugar until fluffy. Whisk four large eggs together briefly; add eggs to sugar cheese mixture and whip to incorporate. Add sour and heavy creams, vanilla paste and lemon juice. Whip until smooth and evenly mixed, scraping the mixer bowl to ensure there aren’t any clumps of cream cheese left at the bottom.
Divide the filling into the two prepared pans. In two small bowls, stir each of the berry jams until very smooth. Dot surface of each cake’s filling with small dollops of jam. Using the tip of a chopstick, pull each dot of jam in different directions to create swirls. Place each cake on a square of aluminum foil
to ensure there are no escaping drips from the springform pans. Bake at 325 for 50 to 55 minutes. Turn oven off, open oven and allow cakes to cool on the rack. Refrigerate cakes for 3 full hours. Serve slices of cake topped with fresh berries and a dollop of whipped cream.
The Gallery, located at 202 Wisconsin Avenue, Lake Forest, is open Thursday through Saturday for dinner and for special events on Sundays. For more information call 224-544-5961or visit thegallerylf.com.
Is there a recipe you’re dying to have? E-mail us at [email protected] and we’ll start digging.