Berry Delicious Cheesecake. The Cake That Causes Diabetes

A creamy New York style cheesecake with a graham cracker crust. Super simple, super delicious.
*IMAGES UPDATED 2014*
I find comfort in preparing a cheesecake- knowing that even if there are cracks or imperfections,  it’ll come out good. Very good. I first began making baked Cheesecakes when I was in the fourth grade. Though fairly simple, everyone in our house devoured it; over the years, I have made chocolate cheesecakes, no bake cheesecakes, peanut butter cheesecakes, and simple, yet elegant cheesecakes topped off with a variety of toppings. My all-time favorite is blueberry topping, 
similar to the one in the video, but with the other fruit omitted- however, the other fruit when in season, tastes magical. I also enjoy a raspberry sauce during the winter, pureeing frozen raspberries and straining them to make a lovely red, velvety sauce.
 

 Either way served, the cheesecake it’s self is majestic in it’s own right- a crisp, butter crust topped off with an ever-so-smooth cream cheese batter, the flavor is subtle, yet bold, it really is perfect served either plain, or with fresh fruit that gives this light favorite some panache. The recipe  it’s self is so simple, (requiring only a bowl, a whisk and a spatula) and easy to follow, it is a no fail. 
 
 
A new café opened up close to where I live, I went to review it for the Warsaw Insider- and obviously, I ordered  the most extravagant dessert on the menu- a mascarpone white chocolate cheesecake of a sort topped of with pomegranate. Not to brag or anything, but this cheesecake was WAY better. My dad said so. He only likes two types of cakes: Chocolate cake and cheesecake- he’s not much of a dessert person. But if you put a slice of this cheesecake, topped with blueberries in front of him, he’ll lick the plate clean. 
 
I recently made it for a dinner party- after a looong time. And it was as good as I remembered- incredibly dense, rich and tart from the fruit topping. In fact, the leftovers were gone within a day. Guilty. I’m not sure if it’s a good idea to share this recipe with you, because it’s so good, it’ll cause you diabetes. No kidding- if you’re the only person around, you’ll have bite after bite after bite until there are no more bites left. So be careful- and make it, obviously, because this is the best cheesecake you will ever find. Ever. 
Also, go easy on the video. It’s pretty old. And embarrassing. 

Ingredients (serves 8-10)
For the Crust:
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 1/2 cups crushed cookies (preferably digestive biscuits or graham crackers)
1/4 cup melted butter

For the filling: 
2 pounds (or 4 8-ounce packages, 1kg) cream cheese – Philadelphia is the very best!
– the cream cheese MUST be at room temperature to prevent a lumpy cheescake
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla extract
4 eggs
1 cup sour cream

For the sour cream topping (OPTIONAL!)- but great for covering up cracks
3/4 cup sour cream
2 tbsp granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla

For the Berry Topping:
4 cups fresh berries (could be a variety or a single berry)- set aside 1 cup
1 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp granulated sugar

Method: 
Preheat the oven to 325 F or 160 C.
Butter a 9 inch spring form pan (or line a 9×13 rectangular pan with tin foil).
Combine all the ingredients for the crust, and mix till combined.
Press the crust mixture evenly on the bottom of the pan using your hands, or a measuring cup.
For the filling, beat together the cream cheese at room temperature and add the vanilla extract and sugar until well-blended.
Add the eggs – one at at a time, beating until incorporated.
Scrape down the bottom to see if there is uneven batter.
Add the sour cream and mix.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and bake for 40 minutes to an hour, or until the cheesecake is nearly done, the center still slightly jiggly.
Combine all the ingredients for the sour cream topping, immediately pour over the crust and bake for an additional ten minutes. (this step is optional, if you choose to leave the sour cream topping, bake the cheese till it is set all the way through.)

Cool the cheesecake completely for at least 3 hours or overnight.
To make the berry filling, in a saucepan, combine 1 cup of the berries with the lemon juice and sugar. Bring this to a boil over medium heat for around 5 minutes. When cooled,
Pour this mixture over the fresh berries, folding to combine. When read to serve, take the cheesecake out of the pan and top with the berry mixture, and perhaps garnish with a sprig of mint.

TIP: If you want to keep the berry mixture simple, avoid cooking that 1 cup, instead, use 3/4 cup of any jam (warmed) you like, or avoid this on the whole. Just top the cheesecake off with plain berries, but make sure to spread a bit of jam over the top so that the berries stick.