Monday, April 22, 2013

A Weekend to Remember: Lemon Blackberry Cheesecake

 This weekend was such a packed weekend!!  We celebrated one of my best friend's birthdays (twice!!), had an open house for my old elementary school, Eisenhower International (this is the last year that they will be in the building that I called my school home for 6 years.  The program has once again outgrown its building and will be moving.)  It was opening night of Tulsa Opera's Aida, (which was amazing and so fun to be a part of!), and my Hubby's work picnic.  Through all of this busyness, I found the time to bake this delicious Lemon blackberry Cheesecake. (Recipe below)  Shurayah loves anything blackberry, just like I love anything raspberry! 
As you can see, I had a lot of fun decorating her office!!  Decorating is something I enjoy doing immensely, so I'm always looking for opportunities.  We had a little cupcake anddessert party for her after out immaculate lunch at Sushi Hana.  Needless to say, we were all pretty much miserable and useless forthe rest of the day.  *ehem* I mean we were very productive and motivated for the rest ofthe day after all ofthe sugar we had...
This is a picture from my old elementary school, Eisenhower International.  All of us pictured were part of the spanish program and were part of the first class to go all the way through, from K-5 at this "new" building.  This is a picture of our handprints that we got to paint on our gym wall when we graduated in '98.  That apricot color is the original color of the wall.  They did a good job preserving it, while trying to update the rest of it!  The immersion program was a revolutionary program when it was started, back in 1981.  It started at Eliot Elementary school, but outgrew that and moved to a new building next to Tulsa's Education Service Center.  It truly did help build lifelong skills and lifelong friendships.  Only 5 of us are pictured here, but there were many more.  And mostly all of us still keep in touch.  This was just one more opportunity for all of us to get together!

Lemon Blackberry Cheesecake
3 tbsp softened butter                        1 cup Sour Cream
1 cup Graham Cracker Crumbs         1/4 cup All-Purpose Flour
2 lbs. Cream Cheese                          1 tbsp Vanilla Extract
1 1/2 cups sugar (I used Splenda)     1 1/2 pints Blackberries (I used frozen ones!)
3/4 cup Milk (I used Lactaid)            Zest and Juice of 1 lemon
4 Eggs

Preheat oven to 350.  Grease a 9 in. springform pan with 1 tbsp butter.  Mix the graham crackers with the rest of the butter and press firmly into the bottom and halfway up sides of pan. (I really only pressed it around the bottom and not the sides.)

In large bowl, use a handheld mixer and cream together the cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Blend in the milk, then beat the eggs in one at a time, mixing just enought to where they are incorporated. Mix in the sour cream, flour and vanilla until smooth. (careful with the flour and make sure you have the mixer on a low speed.  Otherwise it will go everywhere! Not that I know from experience......shhh)
Divide the mixture between two bowls.

In a blender or food processor, puree 1 pint of blackberries with the zest and juice of lemon. (I got to use my new handy dandy zester that we got for the wedding!)
  Pour the puree into one of the bowls of cheesecake mixture, along with the remaining 1/2 pint of whole blackberries and mix well.


Pour the blackberry mixture into the springform pan and bake for 10 minutes. Remove the pan from oven and pour remaining filling over the top. Return to the oven and bake for 1 hour, until topping is set. Chill in the refridgerator until ready to use. (I moved the pan straight from the oven to the fridge and it ruend out just fine! Just make sure to set potholders under it so it won't harm the fridge shelf.)  I left mine in thr fridge overnight and it was perfect in the morning!


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