Inspired by the classic French dessert cour a la creme, this has all cheesecake's richness without the rigmarole of baking. Just what you want on a hot summer day; perfect with a swath of juicy berries.
- 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
- Zest of 1 lime (about 1 teaspoon)
- Juice of 2 limes (about 1/3 cup),
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 2 1/2 cups heavy cream
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/3 cup water
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 cup halved or sliced fresh strawberries
- 1 cup fresh raspberries
- 1/2 lime
Beat the cream cheese in a large bowl with a hand-held mixer on medium speed until smooth. Add the sugar, lime zest and juice, and vanilla. Beat until light and fluffy, scraping the sides of the bowl and beaters as needed.
In another bowl, beat the cream just until it holds a stiff peak. Stir about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture to lighten the cream cheese. Gradually fold in the remaining whipped cream to make a light mousse. Transfer mixture into the lined sieve and fold the cheesecloth over top and press gently. Cover and refrigerate to drain for at least 4 hours or up to 3 days.
Just before serving, prepare the berries: Cook about half of the blueberries in a small skillet with the water and sugar, over medium heat until the berries get juicy, about 8 minutes. Toss all the berries together in a large bowl, along with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
Unwrap the cheesecake and invert onto a platter. (Discard the cheesecloth.) Use a large ladle or spoon to press a well in the center of the cake. Spoon the berries into the well and drizzle the juices over the top or serve on the side. Serve a scoop of summer cheesecake with some of the fresh berries.
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