“I remember when I was 6 years old, I would always look forward to weekends because those were the only days when my aunt would have the time to bake and develop recipes. She was still single then and treated me and my sisters like her own kids. We’d bake lots of cookies and cakes, but the dessert I was most fascinated with was this cheesy, fruity, custard-like cake.”
–Miko Aspiras, chef and owner of Scout’s Honor, Le Petit Souffle, Freezer Burn, and Workshop.
Berry and Graham Cheesecake
by Annie Llamanzares-Abad
Makes 1 (8-inch) cake Prep Time 30 minutes
Cooking Time 5 minutes
Baking Time 2 hours 15 minutes
For the graham base:
1 3/4 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup softened unsalted butter, plus extra for brushing
1/3 cup sugar
For the cheesecake:
1/2 cup cornstarch
1/3 cup water
2 cups heavy cream
3 1/3 cups cream cheese
1/2 cup sugar
2 vanilla beans, seeds scraped
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3 medium eggs
1 (200-gram) pack graham crackers, roughly crumbled, divided
Whipped cream, graham cracker pieces, and fresh strawberries for topping
1 Preheat oven to 300°F. Line the bottom of an 8-inch springform pan with foil. Brush base with melted butter.
2 Make the graham base: Mix all ingredients together in a bowl using your hands until well incorporated. Press graham cracker mixture firmly onto the bottom and up the sides of the prepared pan. Place pan in a shallow baking dish and bake in the preheated oven for 15 minutes. Keep springform pan in the baking dish and let cool to room temperature.
3 Decrease oven temperature to 265°F.
4 Whisk together cornstarch and water until completely dissolved. Simmer cream in a saucepan over medium heat. Slowly whisk in dissolved cornstarch. Stir until mixture is thick; immediately strain mixture into a bowl. Set aside.
5 In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream cream cheese, sugar, scraped vanilla seeds, and vanilla extract until smooth, light, and fluffy. Scrape the sides and bottom of the bowl.
6 Add eggs one at a time, scraping the sides and bottom of the bowl with every addition. Pour in thickened cream mixture. Mix until well combined.
7 Scatter half of the roughly crumbled graham crackers on top of the prepared base. Pour batter over. Tap pan to release air bubbles. Top with remaining crumbled graham crackers.
8 Fill the shallow baking dish, around the springform pan, halfway with hot water. Bake in the preheated oven for 2 hours or until cheesecake is firm but still jiggly at the center. Let cool to room temperature before chilling overnight.
9 Decorate top with whipped cream, graham cracker pieces, and fresh berries.
Grab the special 10th anniversary issue of Yummy magazine this March to see chef Miko’s Coconut and Raspberry Cake on the cover!
Recipe originally published in the May 2015 issue of Yummy magazine.