3-Way Cheesecake: Lemon - Lime - Raspberry

Cheesecake and meatballs have two things in common (at least at our house):
  1. Until recently, I thought that both were difficult to make and required a chef more gourmet than I. (Because watching Iron Chef America is as close to gourmet as I get.)
  2. They are both infinitely more fun made in miniature. (see my mini meatloaf recipe here)
The first baked cheesecake I ever made followed this recipe from Kraft. It was such a smashing success that I've gained the confidence to tweak the recipe and make it my own (including halving it so that I don't feel guilty eating the whole thing ;). So now, instead of just a lemon cheesecake, I can use the same recipe to make lime and raspberry cheesecakes as well.

Cheesecake is my go-to "impress" dessert, and it only adds to the wow factor to have cheesecake in three flavors. Instead of making three batches of cheesecake, though, I take a shortcut and make one cheesecake base and then divide and stir in three different flavors. There, now you have the secret to all of my powers. ;)

3-Way Cheesecake
makes approximately 18 muffin-sized and 24 mini-muffin-sized cheesecakes
OR six of the smaller 4-inch square pans shown here
OR two 8" pie rounds
OR double to make one 9x13 

What you'll need:
  • Prepared graham cracker crust(s) in whatever size(s) you want
  • two 8-oz packages cream cheese, softened
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 eggs
  • Juice and zest (or grated peel) from 1 lemon
  • Juice and zest (or grated peel) from 2 limes
  • 1/3 cup mashed raspberries and juice
*I love a cheesecake with strong flavor, so if you want a more subtle flavor, consider using less juice/zest.

*If you want only one of the three flavors, such as for making a single 9x13, triple the amount of lemon lemon/lime/raspberry to 3 lemons, 6 limes, or 1 cup mashed raspberries. Then skip dividing the cheesecake base.
What you'll do:
  1. Beat cream cheese and sugar in a large bowl until well blended.
    • If your cream cheese hasn't had time to soften, you can help it along by microwaving it at 50% power for 20-30 seconds. Be very careful not to melt it though!
  2. Add sour cream and mix well.
    • Mix VERY well at the risk of  your sour-cream-hating hubby (or anyone else) gagging and never wanting to each your cheesecake again after finding a lump of sour cream. Lesson learned.
  3. Add one egg at a time and blend well after each.
  4. Divide cheesecake base evenly into three bowls.
  5. Add the lemon juice/zest to one bowl of cheesecake base, the lime juice/zest to the other, and the raspberry mash to the last; stir well.
  6. Pour over crust(s).
    • For muffin tins and mini-muffin tins, using a measuring cup and tablespoon to ladle the cheesecake into the tins makes much less mess. 
  7. Bake cheesecake(s) at 325*F for approximately 20 minutes, or until center is almost set. (If the center is set, the cheesecake is overcooked and will probably crack. For more tips on preventing cracks and getting a perfect cheesecake, read this article on What's Cooking America.)
    • For mini cheesecakes (muffin and mini-muffin), bake approximately 12-15 minutes.
    • For a 9x13 cheesecake, bake approximately 40 minutes.
  8. Refrigerate 4 hours or overnight... or eat it as soon as it cools to room temperature because you just can't help yourself. 
  9. Garnish before serving, because if I've learned anything from Iron Chef America it's that plating and appearance are worth 25%. :)
    • For the smaller cheesecakes, the easiest garnish is a few crumbs of leftover graham cracker crust, sprinkle on before baking.

In a family taste-test, no one flavor prevailed. Each taste-tester preferred a different flavor. I love when that happens. :)

**linking up to Housewife Eclectic's Tasty Tuesday party**

4 comments:

elizabeth @ twelvecrafts said...

Okay . . . another reason I wish we lived closer to one another . . . you make what looks like amazing cheesecake and I love to eat amazing cheesecake! ;)

Debra said...

Oooo, this looks delicious! We should make this when I am there in October. That sounds like a plan. :)

Megan Harmeyer said...

Wow - these look great!!! I'm bookmarking this page now. *drool*

The Kooky Queen--Rachel said...

These pics look GREAT!!!!!!!!!! I mean, just the garnishes alone make me salivate! I've gotta make this!

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