UPDATE: I made this cheesecake again over the weekend in a 9 inch square baking pan. I used about 160 grams of graham crackers, about 12 crackers, and the same amount of filling. Also, included step by step photos on how to create the swirly pattern.
Greek yogurt is the bomb!
Sometimes necessity is the mother of invention and this was the creamiest, most luscious cheesecake I’ve ever made. While I like a nice solid cheesecake as much as the next person, when the weather gets a little warmer, it’s nice to have cheesecake lite (e.g. all the calories but with a texture slightly firmer than whipped cream).
I’m used to making cheesecakes with sour cream, but it’s not something I keep regularly stocked in the fridge. Greek yogurt, on the other hand, is part of the parfaits and smoothies that punctuate my summer and spring diet. I like making yogurt bowls the night before and grabbing them when I run out the door in the morning. I had known that yogurt could be substituted for sour cream in coffee cake, but when I looked for yogurt cheesecake, I kept coming up with no-bake cheesecake. I’m sure that no cook cheesecakes have their merit, but not today. Finally, Sally’s Baking Addiction came to the rescue!
I was very pleased by how pretty the cheesecake turned out (e.g. no unsightly crack). The beautiful pattern is made by dropping various sized dots of berry sauce across the cake and then swirling it with a toothpick.
Next time, I’d increase the amount of crust. I’ve been using way too many graham crackers for s’mores. And perhaps adding zest to the crust.
The only difficulty in the cheesecake is it’s long, long preparation time, and the dreaded hot water bath. While Sally recommends letting it cool in a cracked oven for an hour before removing it, I just cracked it open and went to bed. In the morning the cheesecake was no worse for wear! And I cannot emphasize how smooth and creamy it is!
Berry Swirl Cheesecake
ADAPTED from Sally’s Baking Addiction
YIELDS 1 cheesecake in a 9 inch pie pan. Please see Sally’s original recipe for the much taller 9 inch spring form pan.
INGREDIENTS FOR BERRY SAUCE
1 cup of mixed berries, or berry of choice
1 tsp (3g) of cornstarch
1/2 tsp of fresh lemon juice or the juice of a nice wedge
1 tsp of water
1 tbsp of granulated sugar
1 pinch of lemon zest for brightness
INGREDIENTS FOR CRUST
120 grams or about 7 full sheet graham crackers
4 tablespoons, about 60 grams of melted butter
¼ cup of sugar
INGREDIENTS FOR FILLING
16 ounces or 2 packs of full-fat cream cheese, softened to room temperature
½ cup of granulated sugar
½ cup of Greek yogurt or full fat sour cream
1 teaspoon of vanilla extract
2 large eggs
A few swipes of lemon zest
Preheat the oven to 350F degrees.
Make the berry sauce first. In a small saucepan, throw together all the sauce ingredients and cook for ten to fifteen minutes, smashing the berries against the side of the pot with a spoon, until you have a few teaspoons of bright berry goodness! Remove from heat and put the mixture through a fine mesh strainer in a small bowl to separate the cooked berries and the juice.
Make the graham cracker crust: My favorite way to make graham cracker crumbs with a ziplock bag and a rolling pin. No rolling pin, no worries. A wine or beer bottle works just as well. I find it super soothing to pretend I’m a steamroller and crush the crackers with the rolling pin. Roll. Roll. Smash. Smash. Mix the crumbs, melted butter, and sugar together in a medium bowl into combined. Press into the bottom of the pan and then build up the sides. Bake for seven minutes and allow to cool slightly as you prepare the filling.
Make the filling: Put a kettle of water on the stove to boil. Using a handheld or stand mixer, beat the cream cheese and granulated sugar together on medium speed in a large bowl until the mixture is smooth and creamy. Sally said it only took 3 minutes, but for me, it took maybe double that with my small hand mixer. Remember to scrape down the bowl periodically or you’ll have a layer of cream cheese on the bottom of the bowl. Add the yogurt and vanilla and beat until combined.
Lastly, add the eggs one at a time, beating after each addition until just blended. Do not overmix.
Pour the filling into the cooled crust. Drop spoonfuls of the smooth berry sauce in the batter. Using a toothpick (or a knife), gently swirl. Less is more here, people. Place the pie tart in a larger pan (I used a square baking pan) and place in the oven. Pour the boiling water into the square baking pan, avoiding the pie tin. Bake for 40 minutes or until there is a 2 or 3 inch wobbly spot in the center. Turn off the oven and crack the oven. I used a few towels to wedge it open. Let the cheesecake sit in the oven for an hour (or overnight).