Two hundred and thirty-five years ago in the sweltering summer heat of Philadelphia, representatives from all of the 13 Colonies came together to vote on the issue of Independence from England and on the Fourth of July, 1776 congress officially adopted the Declaration of Independence and the United States of America was born. Happy Birthday America!
Our founding fathers by their own admission were not great men or radical thinkers, they just did what they saw as their duty to preserve their “natural-born rights as Englishmen”. The ideas for our Independence form England can even be seen at work in the Magna Carta first established 1215. While it’s true no colony had ever succeeded from the England before and the British were quick to call it treason, everything our Founders did was, in fact, legal. Jefferson himself explains that the Declaration was not meant to express anything new. Jefferson said it was “not to find out new principles, or new arguments, never before thought of, not merely to say things which had never been said before, but to place before mankind the common sense of the subject.”
For all the talk about democracy, another great misconception is that the United States is a democracy, we are in fact a Republic, and our founding fathers went to great links discussing this matter, and felt it was necessary that the distinction was made. They claimed that a democracy was both extreme and dangerous for a country as it would most assuredly result in the oppression of the minority by the majority. Take this one example from Founding Father, Elbridge Gerry: “The evils we experience flow from the excess of democracy.” And Thomas Jefferson said that democracy should never be practiced outside the limits of a town.
Don’t feel bad if you didn’t know these facts, I found them courtesy of Fox News in their “10 Things You Might Not Know About America’s Independence“ Click on the link to learn more!
In honor of our Country’s birth I have made a dessert for the occasion, and what better way to celebrate the Fourth than with a creamy Cheesecake! Now of course since the United States is a melting pot, I have gone back to one of my favorite recipes for a delicious blend of cream cheese (Philadelphia Brand of course) and Mascarpone, that wonderfully versatile Italian cheese! Feel free to use all cream cheese for the recipe, but I have to tell you, it won’t be as creamy without mascarpone.
- 1 cup Shortbread Cookie crumbs* or Graham Crumbs
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- * I was lucky enough to find Barilla Mulino Bianco Brand Rigoli
- 2 8 oz packs cream cheese, softened
- 2 8 oz packs Mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- zest of one lime
- 1 tablespoon vanilla bean powder or extract
- 5 eggs, lightly beaten
- Strawberry Topping:
2 cups fresh strawberries3/4 cup water
2 tablespoon cornstarch
1/2 cup sugar
- Whipped Topping:
- 1 cup heavy whipping cream
- 1/2 envelope gelatin
- 1 tablespoon super fine sugar
- 2. In a small bowl, mix the cookie crumbs with the butter. Press onto the bottom and up one inch on the sides of a prepared 9 or 10 inch springform pan. Place pan on a baking sheet. Bake at 325° for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack.
- 3. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cheeses, sugar, lime juice, zest and vanilla until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, beat on low speed just until combined. Pour over crust. *optional water bath method
- 4. Bake at 325° for 50-60 minutes or until center is just set and top appears dull (do not overcook or the top will crack). Remove springform pan from the oven, and cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes. Carefully run a knife around the edge of pan to loosen; cool 1 hour longer.
- Refrigerate at least 6 hours or overnight. Before serving, prepare topping and Strawberry Glaze.
- * If you want to have a perfect top of your cheesecake, place your prepared springform pan on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 18 in. square). Securely wrap foil around pan. Continue with the process and before placing in the oven, place springform pan in a large baking pan; add 1 in. of hot water to larger pan. Since I almost always put a topping on my cheesecake, I rarely use the water bath method, but if you want a perfect top to your cheesecake, give it a try!
- (After your cheesecake has properly set up, you can continue with the topping.)
- 5. In the bowl of your mixer, add the heavy cream and sprinkle the gelatin on top of the heavy cream and allow it to set for a two minutes. Add the sugar and whip till it is become whipped cream.
- 6. Place whipped cream in a pastry bag and make a ring of whipped cream on the top of the cheesecake to help keep the strawberries in place.
- 7. For the glaze puree 1 cup strawberries, mix the cornstarch into the water and add to the
- strawberries and cook 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Cook and stir until mixture is thick and
- clear. (a drop of red food coloring may be used if it is not red enough)
- 8. Cool to room temperature.
- 9. Clean and remove the tops of the remaining berries, place on of the top chilled cheesecake. Pour
- the glaze over the berries and chill one hour.
Now all you have to do is slice it up and serve it, just be ready to hand out the recipe, because once your friends and family taste this creamy and oh so delicious cheesecake they’re going to want to make it at home!
Thank you so much for stopping by today, and where ever you are I hope that your Fourth of July is a happy one, and to all my friends in other countries, please join me in our celebration!!