June 9, 2013

Raspberry Pistachio Cheesecake

I've made cheesecake before but felt compelled to make this particular one for purely superficial reasons.  I just loved how it looked in the picture.  The recipe comes from The SoNo Baking Company Cookbook.  The red raspberries were such a beautiful complement to the verdantly green pistachios.  Plus, pistachios are one of favorite nuts so that pretty much sealed the deal. 

Most cheesecakes are baked in a removable bottom pan - not this one.  Instead you use a regular cake pan so no need for aluminum foil and possibly leakage.  I admit I was a bit skeptical about how "easy" the baked cake would release from the pan but I followed the instructions and didn't have any issues.  Thank goodness!  

I want to wish one of my dearest friends (and mother to my goddaughter) a very Happy Birthday!  Gratulerer med dagen Gullet!!!

 SoNo Raspberry Pistachio Cheesecake

Makes one 9-inch cheesecake, serves ~ 10

Pistachio Graham Cracker Crust
¼ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
¼ cup granulated sugar
¼ tsp coarse salt
1 ¼ cups graham cracker crumbs (I used 1 sleeve of crackers)
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted and cooled

2 lb cream cheese, at room temperature for at least 6 hours
1 1/3 cups granulated sugar
½ tsp coarse salt
2 tsp pure vanilla extract
1 Tbsp vanilla paste OR seeds from 1 whole vanilla bean
5 large eggs, at room temperature
2/3 cup sour cream
½ cup apricot jam
½ cup shelled, unsalted pistachios, pulsed in a food processor until coarsely ground
3 (½-pint) containers raspberries
Confectioners' sugar, for dusting (optional)

Preheat the oven to 300°F. Bring water to a boil for a water bath. Butter the bottom and sides of a 9 by 2-inch cake pan; set aside. [Note: If you want a really tall cheesecake you might want to bake it in an 8 by 3-inch cake panThat's what I'm going to do next time.]
To make the crust: In a food processor, pulse the pistachios with the sugar and the salt until coarsely ground. Transfer to a large bowl, add the graham cracker crumbs and butter, and mix to combine. Press the graham cracker mixture over the bottom of the buttered pan. Set aside.

To make the filling: In the bowl of a standing mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese, sugar, salt, vanilla extract, and vanilla paste or seeds on medium-high speed, scraping down the bowl several times, until the mixture is completely smooth, about 5 minutes.

Turn the mixer to low and beat in the eggs one at a time, until blended, scraping down the sides of the bowl after each addition. Beat in the sour cream until blended.

Place the cake pan in a roasting pan. Pour the cream cheese mixture into the cake pan-it will come all of the way to the top of the pan. [Note: I had leftover filling which I poured in small custard cups and baked in a water bath.] Place the roasting pan in the oven and pour in the boiling water to come about ½ inch up the sides of the cake pan. Bake until the filling is set but still jiggles slightly in the center, 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 20 minutes. Remove from the water bath and let cool to room temperature. Chill for 4 to 6 hours, or overnight, in the pan.

To finish, heat the bottom of the pan over a flame or an electric element to loosen the crust. Invert the pan onto a 9-inch cake round or large plate. Remove the pan from the cake and invert once more onto a 9-inch round or large plate so the crust is on the bottom. In a small saucepan, warm the apricot jam over low heat until liquid. Strain through a fine strainer. Brush the top and sides of the cheesecake with the strained jam. Cover the top of the cake with a single layer of raspberries. Holding the cake with one hand under the bottom, and working over a sheet pan to catch the excess, gently press the ground pistachios all around the side of the cake. Dust with confectioners' sugar, if desired.

TECHNIQUE TIP: Cheesecakes are traditionally made in springform pans wrapped in aluminum foil and placed in a water bath. Water often leaks into the pans, creating a soggy crust. Instead, as with this recipe, try making cheesecakes in a regular cake pan to ensure that water won't leak into the pan. To serve the cake, remove it from the refrigerator, then heat it over a flame or electric element just enough to warm the sugar and butter in the crust; invert the pan and the cake will release easily.


  1. I have to admit, this is one of the best cheesecakes I've had. :-)

  2. I love everything about this and need it in my life like yesterday! Love the combo of raspberries and nuts.. always have, always will!

  3. I have never baked cheesecake @bain marie. It has always been smooth. So, why bain marie? Just asking. Other than that, it looks awesome!!

    1. A lot of recipes use a bain marie; it keeps the temperature even for the cheesecake to bake in. Hope this helps!

  4. I put a pan of boiling water in the oven on the shelf under the shelf with the one I baking my cheesecake on , I do that every time and my cheesecake doesn't crack. I have never used a bain marie and have been baking cheesecakes for years this way, I live in South Florida.

  5. Mine didn't look quite as cute but overall I was pleased and everyone at Thanksgiving said it was delicious. I was skeptical of not using a springform but now I think I prefer it. Good recipe, thanks.


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