Tropical Fruit Cheesecake
This smooth, creamy cheesecake and crumbly graham cracker crust is a smashing party favorite with its abundance of fresh, tropical fruits. Personally, I don’t think heavy, creamy cheesecake pairs with anything better than absolutely fresh berries and fruits of all kinds. The slight acidity of fruits such as kiwi and peaches and the full bodied flavors of a ripe mango complement the creaminess of the cheesecake. With a winning presentation, everybody will think you secretly went to culinary school.
3 1/2 packages regular cream cheese
1 box of graham crackers (approx. 27 rectangular pieces)
2 teaspoons cinnamon sugar
18 tablespoons butter
10 inch pie pan
3/4 cup sour cream
2 eggs and 2 egg whites
Juice of 1/3 lemon
1/2 teaspoon salt
6 1/2 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/2 teaspoon baking powder
3 tablespoons pure vanilla extract
Fresh strawberries, hulled and cut in half lengthwise
1 fresh mango, peeled, cored and sliced thinly
Fresh blueberries, washed and drained
Fresh kiwis, peeled and sliced into thin rounds
Allow the cream cheese to stand at room temperature for 1/2 hour to 1 hour.
Using a food processor, pulse the graham crackers into fine crumbs. Add cinnamon sugar and butter (few spoons at a time) into the food processor; mix until a dough-like consistency forms.
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spread the graham cracker mixture over the pie pan evenly to coat bottom and sides approximately 1/5 inch thick. Bake crust for 10 minutes; take out of the oven and allow to cool. Do not turn off the oven.
Wash food processor thoroughly and wipe dry. In the food processor, combine the room-temperature cream cheese, sour cream, eggs and lemon juice until smooth. Add the salt, sugar, flour, baking powder and vanilla extract; mix until just combined.
Pour the mixture into the pie pan and bake for approximately 40-50 minutes until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out slightly moist; the cheesecake should be only very slightly golden on top. Remove from the oven and let the cake stand at room temperature until cooled (30-45 minutes).
Garnish with the fresh fruits and cover loosely with plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.