For the most part, this recipe comes via my mom, otherwise known as Neeners. When we were kids, she used to bake her version (which was topped with canned blueberry pie filling and topped with Coolwhip), in her trusty square Corningware baking dish. We all pounced upon it and devoured it as soon as she would let us anywhere near it. This version has the same graham cracker crust and the same idea of a creamy cheesecake filling, but then I veered into a homemade blackberry topping and said ‘so long’ to the Coolwhip because it seems just fine the way it is. It bakes up perfectly in a 13×9 inch baking dish, so if you don’t happen to have one of those vintage Corningware dishes running around, no problem.
I’m pretty sure the best way to go with this recipe is to bake it in a baking dish. Before doing this blog post, I thought I’d bake it in a springform pan, just like regular cheesecakes. I made the crust…ok so far…make the filling, and poured it into the springform pan. This is where things took an unfortunate turn. I’m not sure whether my pan was leaking, the batter not firm enough, or if it was just a run of bad luck, but ended up with filling not seeping, put POURING out of the bottom of the pan, down the front of the kitchen cabinets, all over my britches and shoes, and onto the floor. OK then – it’s going into a baking dish. If you do what it wants you to and keep it in a baking dish, this is so easy! It’s not at all fussy like a regular cheesecake, but is just as creamy and delicious. I like to line the baking pan with foil that’s been sprayed with cooking spray, which makes it easy to lift the entire works out when you’re ready to cut and serve. After you pull it out of the pan, just set it on your serving platter and spread the cooled topping all over it.
Slice it up as you go…
And now we dive in…
If you thought you couldn’t make a cheesecake, give this one a try. It’s quick, easy, and crazy good.
Thanks so much for reading today! xoxoxo
- FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST:
- 2, 5-ounce packages of graham crackers (18 graham crackers)
- ½ cup sugar
- 1 cube of butter, melted
- FOR THE BLACKBERRY TOPPING:
- 5-7 cups fresh or frozen blackberries, boysenberries, marionberries, or wild blackberries. I used 7 cups of frozen and thawed berries for my latest version and had topping left over, but I am not complaining about that one bit.
- Up to 1 cup water (more may be needed to achieve desired consistency when you cook down the berries). NOTE: if you are using thawed, frozen berries, there won’t be a need to add any water because the berries will release a bunch of their own juices as they thaw.
- ½ cup sugar
- 3 tablespoons cornstarch
- Pinch of salt, or more to taste
- FOR THE CHEESECAKE FILLING:
- 2, 8-ounce packages cream cheese (room temperature)
- 2 cups sour cream
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 4 eggs
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- FOR THE GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
- Place the graham crackers in a food processor and pulse until your get fine crumbs. If you don’t have a food processor, just put the graham crackers in a Ziplock bag and bash them with a kitchen hammer or other such implement until the same result is achieved.
- In large bowl, mix together graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter. Press into the bottom of a 9x13 inch-baking dish that has been lined with aluminum foil and sprayed with cooking spray.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 20 minutes, or until set. Cool to room temperature before filling. Note: the last time I made this, the crust was still warm and nothing bad happened, so if you are as impatient as I am, go on ahead and give it a try.
- NOTE: Here’s why it’s a good idea to line the pan with foil – When the cheesecake is cooled, you can just lift the whole thing out at once and cut it into the size of portions you want to without having to fight with prying that first piece out of the pan.
- FOR THE CHEESECAKE
- In a mixer, beat together cream cheese, and sugar. Slowly beat in sour cream and then eggs one at a time, waiting about 30 between each addition. Turn mixer to low and add vanilla. NOTE: Here’s why you take so much time to beat the eggs…they are the only leavening in this recipe and allowing the eggs to whip up separately makes it easier for them to incorporate needed air and lift into the batter. This will make your cheesecake much lighter in texture.
- Pour into cooled (or still warm) crust.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until filling is set in the middle but still jiggles slightly when moved. Cool at room temperature for about one hour.
- Pour blackberry mixture over the baked and cooled cheesecake.
- Cover well and chill until set.
- FOR THE BLACKBERRY SAUCE
- Combine sugar and cornstarch together in a small bowl.
- Add the berries to a large Dutch oven. If you are using frozen and thawed berries, don’t add any water at this point, but if you are using fresh berries, I’d start with about ½ cup of water and add more only if it was necessary.
- Add sugar and cornstarch mixture to the berries. Add salt to taste.
- Cook over medium heat until mixture comes to a boil and thickens. Once the mixture starts to boil, boil it for one minute to make sure all the starchy taste from the cornstarch is cooked out. NOTE: If you boil a mixture that is thickened with cornstarch for too long, it loses its thickening power, so don’t overdo it. Remove from heat, cool to room temperature or chill until ready to use.