Classic Cheesecake with Homemade Fruit Sauces

Dress up a plain cheesecake with homemade fruit sauce - in any flavor!
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Total: 6 hr 40 min
  • Active: 1 hr 10 min
  • Yield: 8 to 10 servings
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Ingredients

2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice

1 1/2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

Homemade fruit sauce (see below)

For the crust:

14 whole graham crackers

2 tablespoons sugar

5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted

For the filling:

3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, at room temperature

1 cup sugar

3 large eggs

Directions

  1. Make the crust: Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Break the graham crackers into pieces, then pulse in a food processor with the sugar until finely ground; drizzle in the melted butter and pulse to combine. Press the crumb mixture into the bottom and about 1 inch up the side of a 9-inch springform pan. Bake until golden, about 10 minutes, then transfer to a rack and let cool completely. Reduce the oven temperature to 300 degrees F.
  2. Make the filling: Beat the cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl with a mixer on medium-high speed until smooth and slightly fluffy, about 3 minutes. Beat in the eggs, one at a time, then beat in the lemon juice and vanilla.
  3. Pour the batter into the prepared crust. Transfer to the oven and bake until the edge is set but the center still jiggles slightly, 1 hour to 1 hour 10 minutes. Turn off the oven and keep the cheesecake in the oven with the door ajar, 20 minutes. Remove from the oven and run a knife around the edge of the cheesecake to loosen. Transfer to a rack and let cool completely, then refrigerate until set, at least 4 hours or overnight.
  4. Top with homemade fruit sauce (see below).
  1. Rasberry-Rose
  2. Combine 3 cups raspberries, 1 1/2 cups rose wine, 1 cup sugar, 1 strip orange zest, the juice of 1 orange, 2 teaspoons vanilla and a pinch of cinnamon in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, stirring occasionally, until reduced by half, 30 to 40 minutes. Whisk 2 teaspoons cornstarch with 3 tablespoons water; whisk into the sauce until thickened, 3 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, using a ladle to push it through. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)
  3. Honeydew-Avocado
  4. Puree 2 cups cubed honeydew melon, 1 small peeled and pitted avocado, 1/3 cup sugar and the juice of 1 lime until smooth. If the sauce is still lumpy, strain through a fine-mesh sieve, using a ladle to push it through. Cover and refrigerate. (Makes 1 3/4 cups.)
  5. Mango-Coconut
  6. Combine 2 cups coconut water and 1/2 cup sugar in a saucepan and bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally; cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, 10 to 15 minutes. Add 2 chopped mangoes and cook until just tender, 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the juice of 1 lime and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla. Puree until smooth, then strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, using a ladle to push it through. Let cool; cover and refrigerate. (Makes 1 3/4 cups.)
  7. Maple-Blueberry
  8. Combine 3 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, 1 cup water, 1/2 cup maple syrup, 1/4 cup sugar, the juice of 1 lemon and 1 teaspoon vanilla in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then lower the heat and simmer until reduced by half, 20 to 30 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, using a ladle to push it through. Let cool; cover and refrigerate. (Makes 1 3/4 cups.)
  9. Strawberry-Rhubarb
  10. Toss 2 cups sliced fresh or frozen rhubarb, 1 pound quartered strawberries and 3/4 cup sugar in a saucepan; let sit until juicy, 20 minutes. Add 1/4 cup water, bring to a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until very tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Strain the sauce through a fine-mesh sieve, using a ladle to push it through. Let cool, then cover and refrigerate. (Makes 1 1/2 cups.)
  11. Apricot-Ginger
  12. Combine 1 cup dried apricots, 1/3 cup sugar, 3 thin slices ginger, 1 1/4 cups water, 1/2 cup cranberry juice and the juice of 2 lemons in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer until the apricots are very soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Let cool; discard the ginger. Puree until smooth, then cover and refrigerate. Stir in up to 1/2 cup water if the sauce seems thick. (Makes 2 cups.)
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Perfect Cranberry Sauce

This ruby-hued sauce is a breeze to make with either fresh or frozen fruit.