A rich reward for picking your way through the thorny brambles. Use your choice of fresh raspberries, blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries and/or chopped pitted cherries. If you don’t want to use alcohol, you may substitute orange juice.
Very Berry Cheesecake
40 vanilla wafers, crushed
6 tablespoons butter, melted
2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup white sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 cup cottage cheese, creamed
1/4 cup cherry brandy
3 1/2 cups fresh blackberries
1 tablespoon cherry brandy
1 tablespoon white sugar
1 In a medium bowl, stir together vanilla wafer crumbs and butter. Press the mixture into the bottom and 1 3/4 inch up the sides of an 8 inch springform pan. Set aside.
2 In a large bowl, stir together cream cheese, 3/4 cup sugar, flour, and vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on low speed until smooth. Set aside. Place cottage cheese in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth. Stir into cream cheese mixture. Stir in the 1/4 cup cherry brandy. Beat in eggs on low speed just till combined. You do not want do incorporate too much air into the batter.
3 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F (190 degrees C). Pour half of the cheese mixture into the crust-lined pan. Spread 1 cup of the fruit on top. Top with remaining cheese mixture and 1/2 cup of the fruit. Place in a shallow baking pan in the preheated oven.
4 Bake for 40 to 45 minutes or till center appears nearly set when shaken. Cool on a wire rack for 15 minutes. Loosen sides. Cool completely on wire rack. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours, or until ready to serve.
5 For topping, in a medium bowl combine remaining 2 cups fruit, 1 tablespoon cherry brandy, and 1 tablespoon sugar. Cover and chill for up to 2 hours. To serve, cut cheesecake into wedges. Top each serving with fruit topping.