4th of July Cheesecake

Pastry counter at Kneaders Bakery & Cafe - North Salt Lake, UT

Kneader's Bakery & Cafe Restaurant Recipe

3 cups graham cracker crumbs
3/4 cup granulated sugar
3/4 cup melted butter

4 (8 oz.) packages cream cheese (room temperature)
4 extra large eggs (room temperature)
1 3/4 cups granulated sugar divided
1 tablespoon vanilla or almond
1/4 cup cornstarch
1/2 cup heavy cream
2 tablespoons sour cream

To Decorate:
fresh blueberries
fresh strawberries
fresh blackberries
fresh raspberries
powdered sugar

To make Crust: Combine all the ingredients.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Generously butter the bottom and the sides of a 1/2 sheet pan ( 13 x 18 inches rimmed). Bake at 350 degrees for 10 minutes.  Let cool.

To make Cheesecake: Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy. Cream the cream cheese one package at a time,  scraping down the bowl after each use, until all has been added. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining sugar, then the vanilla.   Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one.   Beat in the heavy cream and sour cream just until completely blended.   Be careful not to over mix!

 Gently spoon the batter over the crust. Place a dripping pan of hot water on the lower rack of the oven.  Place cheesecake on the upper rack that is in the middle of the oven. Bake at 350 degrees   until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan about 55 to 60 minutes.  Remove the cheesecake from the oven and let cool on a wire rack for 2 hours. Don’t move it.  Let it set up.   Leave the cake in the pan, cover loosely with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight.

To Decorate: Using a wet knife cut cheesecake into 48 squares (6 down and 8 across).  Carefully lift squares out , decorate, and put carefully onto serving platter. Decorate 4 squares across and 3 squares down with blueberries and blackberries.  Starting with  the top row first,  decorate with raspberries lined up edge to edge. Decorate ever other row with raspberries.  Take out the second row, dust with powdered sugar. Decorate with strawberries that have been cut in half and dusted with powdered sugar.  Replace and add strawberries that have been dusted with powdered sugar. Alternate down the rows of the flag.

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