Cheesecake with Blackberry Wine Topping
- 1/2 cup Old York Cellars Blackberry Reserve
- 2 cups blackberries
- 1/4 cup orange juice
- 1/4 tsp ground cloves
- 1 3/4 cups granulated sugar, divided
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 6 tbsps unsalted butter, melted
- 4 (8 oz) packages cream cheese
- 1/4 cup cornstarch
- 2 tsps vanilla
- 1 1/2 tsps lemon juice
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 4 eggs
Blackberry Wine Topping:
Put the blackberries, orange juice, and cloves in the work bowl of a food processor or blender and pulse until smooth. Strain into a clean bowl, stir Old York Cellars Blackberry Reserve, taste, and adjust the consistency and flavor. If the berries are a little tart, add a tablespoon or two of granulated sugar to boost the flavor. If the sauce seems a bit too thin, simmer it on the stovetop awhile, uncovered, to reduce and thicken it. Chill the sauce until ready to serve.
In a large mixing bowl, use a fork to toss the graham cracker crumbs, 3 tablespoons of sugar, and cinnamon together. Add the melted butter, mixing until all crumbs are moistened. Press mixture into the bottom and up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Refrigerate while you work on the filling.
Preheat the oven to 500ºF. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat cream cheese on high until creamy, about 2-3 minutes. Add 1 1/2 cups sugar and continue beating for another 2-3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl, add the cornstarch, vanilla, lemon juice, and salt, and beat until incorporated, 1-3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, two at a time, until combined. Try not to overmix.
**See footnotes if you wish to use a water bath (to prevent cracking).
Pour filling into the crust, smoothing out the top. Bake cheesecake for 10 minutes. Then without opening the oven door, reduce the temperature to 200ºF, and continue to bake for 80-85 minutes, or until center appears nearly set when shaken.
Transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack and run a knife around the edges. Allow to cool for at least 2 hours before covering cheesecake and chilling in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours.
**Optional Water Bath:
You’ll need two pans: a springform pan, and a larger pan that the cheesecake pan can fit into (with high sides, so that the water can come halfway up the side of the springform pan without reaching the top of the larger pan).
Line the roasting pan with a clean dishtowel or a rack that fits inside. A dish towel placed in the bottom keeps the cheesecake pan from sliding around and sloshing all that hot water around.
Next, heat a tea kettle full of water. A kettle’s spout makes pouring the hot water a little easier and reduces splashing. While waiting for water to boil, wrap the outside of pan in a double layer of heavy-duty foil, covering the underside and coming all the way to the top.
Set the wrapped pan in the roasting pan, on the towel, and pour hot water into the pan—to a depth of 2 inches or about halfway up the sides of cheesecake pan. Carefully transfer the pans to a preheated oven and bake.