Very, Very Berry Cheesecake
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Wrap a double layer of foil around the bottom and side of an ungreased 9-inch springform pan to form a watertight seal; set aside.
- In a food processor, combine vanilla wafers and the 1/4 cup sugar. Cover and process until wafers are crushed. With the machine running, quickly add melted butter through feed tube. Process with on/off pulses just until wafers are finely crushed, scraping down side to evenly moisten crumbs. Press mixture onto the bottom and 2 inches up the side of the foil-wrapped pan. Bake about 10 minutes or until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack.
- Place 1 cup of the berries in clean food processor or a blender. Cover and process or blend until smooth. Press berries through a fine-mesh sieve into a small bowl; discard seeds. Stir in the 1 tablespoon vodka; set aside.
- In a large bowl, combine cream cheese, the 1 cup sugar, and the vanilla. Beat with an electric mixer on medium speed until combined. Add the 1/4 cup sour cream and the 1/4 cup vodka; beat until smooth. Stir in eggs.
- Pour about half of the filling into crust, spreading evenly. Sprinkle with 1 cup of the berries. Top with the remaining filling, spreading evenly. Drizzle the pureed berries over top of cheesecake in large zigzag designs or swirls.
- Place the foil-wrapped springform pan in a roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to reach halfway up side of springform pan.
- Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until a 2-inch area around the outside edge appears set and the center appears nearly set when gently shaken. Remove springform pan from water. Cool in pan on wire rack for 15 minutes. Using a small sharp knife, loosen the crust from side of pan. Cool for 30 minutes. Remove foil. Remove side of pan; cool completely (about 1-1/4 hours). Cover and chill overnight.
- Transfer cheesecake to a serving plate. Makes 12 servings.
From the Test Kitchen
*Test Kitchen Tip:
If you don't have a food processor, finely crush the vanilla wafers and transfer to a medium bowl. Stir in sugar and melted butter until combined.