Let's face it, the holidays can feel like a rush. With the joy of visiting family and friend-filled meals to plan for, time is precious and short. Thankfully, this cheesecake recipe from Kurt Dammeier's latest cookbook Pure Food is easy to make and doesn't require any esoteric tools or pans. Unlike traditional cheesecakes, this recipe uses mascarpone and Beecher's Flagship cheese as its filling. We've broken down the recipe into three distinct components: Crust, Filling, and Topping.
For the crust:
1 (5-ounce bag) of Beecher's Honey Hazelnut Crackers
4 tablespoons brown sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
For the filling:
1 teaspoon gelatin
1/4 cup lemon juice (1 to 2 lemons)
12 ounces mascarpone cheese
1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar, divided
1 cup heavy cream
6 ounces Beecher's Flagship cheese, coarsley grated (about 1 1/2 cups)
For the topping:
1/2 teaspoon gelatin
1 teaspoon lemon juice
18 ounces raspberries (about 3 small clamshells), divided
5 tablespoons brown sugar
Pinch of kosher salt
1. To make the crust, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, process the crackers and sugar to fine, even crumbs, about 30 seconds. Add the melted butter in a steady stream while pulsing; pulse until the mixture is evenly moistened and sticks together when pressed between your fingers. Transfer the mixture to a 9-inch pie pan. Using the bottom of a dry measuring cup, press the cracker mixture firmly and evenly into the pan bottom and up the sides. Use the back of a spoon to make an even edge. Bake until fragrant and golden brown, 12 to 18 minutes. Cool on a wire rack to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
2. To make the filling, while the crust is cooling, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface of the lemon juice in a small microwave-safe bowl and set aside 5 to 10 minutes. Heat the gelatin mixture in the microwave for 30 seconds, or until steaming. Set aside to cool to room temperature. In a large bowl, mix the mascarpone and 1/2 cup of the confectioners' sugar with a spatula. In a separate large bowl, whisk the cream and remaining 2 tablespoons confectioners' sugar until soft peaks form, 3 to 5 minutes, and set aside. Stir the cooled gelatin mixture into the mascarpone mixture. Stir the grated cheese into the mascarpone mixture. Gently fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone cheese mixture. Transfer the filling to the cooled crust. Using a spoon, spread the filling to the outer edges to create an indentation in the middle with a 1 inch lip around the edges. Place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours to set.
3. To make the topping, sprinkle the gelatin evenly over the surface of the lemon juice and set aside for 5 to 10 minutes. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, combine two-thirds of the raspberries with the sugar and salt, mashing lightly with a spatula. Cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and the spatula leaves a trail when drawn across the bottom of the pan, about 10 minutes. Stir in the gelatin mixture and transfer to a small bowl to cool to room temperature. Pour the cooled sauce into the indentation in the filling on the surface of the pie. Return the pie to the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes or until ready to serve.
4. Just before serving, place the remaining raspberries in the built-up filling border around the edge of pie.
Enjoy making and devouring this recipe, and find many more like in Kurt Dammeier's Pure Food Cookbook.