Pepper and raspberries go well together to make a sweet and spicy pairing. I thought taking Beechers’ Marco Polo Cheese which has green and black peppercorns from Madagascar and fresh raspberries would make a sweet, spicy and savory cheese cake…

Crust:

Ingredients:

12 Just Desserts Fudge Brownie Bites, crushed in food processor

2 ½  Tablespoons Unsalted Tillamook Butter, melted

Butter to grease pan.

Preparation:

Preheat the oven to 375°.

Cover the outside of a 9” springform pan with foil (to avoid water bath leaks). Wipe some butter around the bottom of the pan.

Pulverize the brownie bites in a food processor. Mix the crushed brownies with melted butter and press mixture into bottom of springform pan and up the sides a bit.

Bake 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and allow cooling to room temperature.

Reduce oven temperature to 350°.

Cheese Cake:

Ingredients:

2 Cups sugar

1 Pound Beechers Marco Polo Cheese, Room temperature, shredded

2 pounds cream cheese, room temperature

1 lemon, zested

2 teaspoons vanilla extract

3 tablespoons flour

5 eggs plus 2 egg yolks

1/2 cup sour cream

2 small cartons fresh raspberries

Preparations:

Combine cream cheese, Marco Polo cheese, sugar, zest, and vanilla in a food processor and process until light and creamy. Transfer to a Mixmaster and use paddle. (You can continue to use food processor if large enough – mine isn’t.)

Add the flour; add eggs and yolks 1 at a time, mixing well after each addition.

Add sour cream and mix until incorporated well.

Gently fold in fresh raspberries.

Butter inside of pan above the crust.

Pour mixture into prepared and foil-wrapped pan.  Fill the roasting pan with enough hot water to come half way up the sides of the pan. Bake for 1 1/2 hours or until internal temperature reaches 165°. You may need to tent cake to avoid over-browning of the top.

Transfer cake to a cooling rack and let cool completely.

Refrigerate cake overnight before serving.

Serve with raspberry sauce.

Sauce:

Ingredients:

2 pints fresh raspberries

1/2 cup sugar

1 cup water

1 teaspoon orange zest

1 Airline Size bottle of Frangelico

Few drops lemon juice

Preparation:

Combine raspberries, sugar, water, and orange zest and cook until berries are soft and liquid is syrupy, about 10 minutes.

Cool slightly.

Puree in a blender.

Strain through a fine sieve, transfer to a bowl, and refrigerate, covered, until completely chilled.

Stir in Frangelico and lemon juice.

Top Chilled Cheesecake with 2 more cartons of fresh raspberries.

Drizzle top and each slice with raspberry Sauce.

Based on a recipe by Ina Garten of The Food Network

The Lady returned from her 2010 Wisconsin Cheese Tour with many wedges of cheese and one of those was the Raspberry Bellavitano from Sartori Foods. She bought it at Jim’s Pantry after her visit to Sartori Foods. Jim Sartori and the gang at Sartori’s treated the group to a gourmet lunch that ended with a cheesecake made using the Raspberry cheese. This variation of the fabulous Bellavitano is soaked in Raspberry Tart Ale from the New Glarus Brewery.

The Lady’s changes are in bold italics. For the original Ina Garten recipe, please click here.

Ingredients

For the crust:

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (10 crackers)

2 tablespoons sugar

6 tablespoons (3/4 stick) unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

½ pound of Sartori Foods’ Raspberry Bellavitano Cheese, at room temperature (I cut into small pieces instead of shredding. When mixed with cream cheese made tiny pellets which I think actually worked out better than shredding in terms of texture.)

2 pounds cream cheese, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups sugar

5 whole extra-large eggs, at room temperature

2 extra-large egg yolks, at room temperature

1/4 cup sour cream

½ teaspoon lime juice

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

For the topping:

1 cup Smuckers’ Red Raspberry Just Fruit Spread

1 Pints fresh raspberries – bought from Prairie Creek Farm at Portland Farmers’ Market

½ Cup Bittersweet Chocolate Chips melted with a couple splashes of Half n Half to thin them a bit

 

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

To make the crust, combine the graham crackers, sugar, and melted butter until moistened. Pour into a 10-inch springform pan. With your hands, press the crumbs into the bottom of the pan and about 1-inch up the sides. Bake for 8 minutes. Cool to room temperature.

Raise the oven temperature to 450 degrees F.

To make the filling, cream the cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with a paddle attachment on medium-high speed until light and fluffy, about 5 minutes. Reduce the speed of the mixer to medium and add the eggs and egg yolks, 2 at a time, mixing well. Scrape down the bowl and beater, as necessary. With the mixer on low, add the sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Mix thoroughly and pour into the cooled crust.

Bake for 15 minutes. Turn the oven temperature down to 225 degrees F and bake for another 1 hour and 15 minutes. Turn the oven off and open the door wide. The cake will not be completely set in the center. Allow the cake to sit in the oven with the door open for 30 minutes. Take the cake out of the oven and allow it to sit at room temperature for another 2 to 3 hours, until completely cooled. Wrap and refrigerate overnight.

Remove the cake from the springform pan by carefully running a hot knife around the outside of the cake. Leave the cake on the bottom of the springform pan for serving.

Melt the chocolate chips in a double boiler and add a little half n half to thin it for drizzling over the cake. While still warm, drizzle over the cake.

Heat the Smuckers and drizzle it over cake as well.

Arrange the berries on top of the cake. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

I put the springform pan on a sheet pan before putting it in the oven to catch any leaks.

SDC12043

As previously noted, The Lady is not into measuring…she does a lot of her cooking by tossing stuff together and this recipe is exactly that: a tossed salad with EVOO, Modena Balsamic Vinegar and crumbled Long Clawson Dairy Lemon Zest.

The Lady started with lettuce from The Man’s garden. So far the growing season in the Pacific Northwest has been almost perfect and the bounty from our garden has been impressive. She washed and chopped the lettuce and tossed it into a green carnival glass bowl that The Lady’s mom (aka THE Lady) gave her more than twenty-five years ago. It is The Lady’s favorite serving bowl and she uses it every time she makes salad. And I don’t mean most of the time, I mean every time. It’s a tradition with The Lady and as you know, she takes tradition very seriously. If you ever need a pimento cheese sandwich fix, just show up here on The Masters Sunday and you’ll be able to feed that Jones…but I digress…

Next she chopped a green bell pepper, also from our garden and added it to the bowl. She then chopped several organic veggies: asparagus (delish raw in a salad), zucchini, Vidalia onion, chives and arugula (again from our garden). Into the bowl.

At this point, she crumbled a nice size piece of the Long Clawson Dairy Lemon Zest Stilton on top of the veggies. She splashed some Modena Balsamic Vinegar and Extra Virgin Olive Oil on top and tossed it all well to mix in the cheese and the oil and vinegar and served it.