Amethyst Cheesecake Torte

We’re still picking up the pieces in the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, but compared to the rest of New Jersey the Philadelphia area came through with minimal damage.  The carnage in New York , and the northern and central parts of New Jersey is just unimaginable.    Our thoughts and prayers are with all of those that have lost so much because of this devastating storm.

But when tragedy strikes, we do what we do best.  We come together as a community, becoming the people we wish we were all year long.    We are at our best when life is at it’s worse.   Some may say that’s a sad commentary on the state of the human race, but I think its what defines the us.    What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger.

When life gets becomes overwhelming, I take solace in my kitchen, finding my balance.  And when I really need to cheer myself up, I bake.  There’s just something so therapeutic about sugar and butter.

I had seen a pie on the cover of Palate magazine, and it was gorgeous.  It was a combination of cranberries and blueberries and the article referred to it as an Amethyst Pie, because of the amazing color of the filling.    I tried to recreate that pie, and even though I wasn’t too sure about the accuracy of the recipe, I followed it exactly.   I have to tell you it was a complete failure…..sigh    The worst part is as I was making it, I knew it wasn’t going to work, but hoping it would.    Unfortunately there was nothing to save from that failure, but it had possibilities!

When I buy cream cheese I buy in bulk and after my pumpkin cheesecake, I still had quite a bit of cream cheese left and thought a cheesecake tort with that Amethyst topping would be a thing of beauty.    I thought I would go with a traditional graham cracker crust for this torte, but thought a chocolate crust would be a great contrast not only in colors but in flavors as well.

It tasted as good as it looked!  The creamy cheesecake against a not too sweet chocolate crust and that delicious combination of berries cooked down to that amazing color…..sigh   It was a beautiful thing!

5.0 from 6 reviews
Amethyst Cheesecake with a Chocolate Crust
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dessert
Cuisine: American
Serves: 10
Ingredients
Chocolate Crust
  • 1½ packages chocolate graham crackers
  • 4 oz butter (120 g)
Cheesecake
  • 3 8-ounce (227 g each pack) packs cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup ( 200 g) sugar
  • 2 Tbsp (30 g) flour
  • 1 tsp (5 ml) vanilla
  • ½ tsp (2.5 g) salt
  • 3 large eggs
Amethyst Topping
  • 8 oz (200 g) frozen blueberries (do not thaw)
  • 6 oz ( 160 g) fresh or frozen cranberries (do not thaw; about 1½ cups)
  • 1 cup (200 g) sugar
  • 3 tbsp (45 g) cornstarch
  • 1 tbsp.(15 g) fresh lemon juice
  • ½ tsp.(2.5 g) finely grated lemon peel
Instructions
Chocolate Crust
  1. place chocolate graham crackers in the bowl of a food processor and process into a fine meal. Place in a mixing bowl
  2. Add melted butter and mix together to make the crust
  3. Press mixture onto bottom and up the side of the deep tart pan or springform pan
  4. Bake in 350 degree (177 C) oven for about 15 minutes, until firm. Remove from oven and allow to cool.
Cheesecake
  1. In your stand mixer add cream cheese and beat just until smooth
  2. Slowly add in the sugar, scrape down the sides of bowl
  3. Add in flour, salt, eggs, and vanilla mix for 2 -3 minutes until well blended and smooth.
  4. Pour cheesecake mixture into prepared crust and place in 350 degree (177 C) preheated oven for one hour.
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely on wire rack
  6. Place in refrigerator to chill for at least 4 hours (overnight is better)
Amethyst topping
  1. Combine all ingredients in large saucepan.
  2. Cook over medium heat until mixture thickens and begins to boil (this will take 10 -12 minutes) make sure to keep stirring the mixture
  3. Continue cooking until mixture begins to boil for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Transfer berry mixture to glass or ceramic dish; cool completely (mixture will thicken)
  4. After mixture has cooled completely,spread evenly over the top of the cheesecake, leaving about ½ inch of the cheesecake showing.

 

It really was a delicious combination of berries and I may try to make that pie again, but this time I’ll develop my own recipe, hopefully one that works!   With Thanksgiving coming it would be the perfect addition to my holiday table, and I’ll make sure to let you know how it turns out!

What are you serving this year?

Comments

  1. That looks gorgeous, Chef Dennis! I don’t really care for blueberries, but I would guess the tartness of the cranberries would keep the blueberry flavor in check.

    I have already started to plan Thanksgiving dinner (and dessert!). Part of the dessert menu will include my cinnamon with candied pecan ice cream!

  2. I’m so glad that you’re safe. It sounds like an absolute mess down there… my thoughts are with you.

    If there’s something to make you feel better, I think cheesecake could certainly do it.

  3. Chef Dennis…saw this on facebook and I could not resist it by to drop by no matter how busy I am :p who could resist this anyway ! Cranberries are in season now and I still have two packets from last November in the freezer LOL! so I can afford to make this cheescake torte . Thanks for sharing the recipe and a prayer is said for those who have lost so much because of the devastating Sandy. Hope things will be back to normal soon.

    Regards,
    Elin

  4. I saw your picture of this last night – and wow…that is a beauty.
    Glad to hear you are well through the storm – so many people’s lives in uproar right now. Keeping everyone Downstate and in affected areas in my thoughts.

  5. Glad to hear your area was not as badly affected by Sandy! This recipe is wonderful and the photos are out of sight! I love the chocolate crust and the cheesecake with fruit on top ~ oh my !! Thanks for sharing this recipe and for all the Google “plusses”, Chef Dennis!

  6. I’m glad to hear you survived Sandy. I’m in northwestern NJ in the Highlands and lost power, cable, internet for 7 days thanks to uprooted evergreens landing on wires…everywhere. Thank goodness we installed a generator 2 months ago so we went relatively unscathed but many friends have passed through these doors this past week trying to provide food, shelter and showers for those still without power so I can attest to coming together in times of crisis. This cheesecake looks wonderful and I love the combination of blueberries and cranberries for the topping. Thank you for sharing!

  7. I’m glad that you are safe and have survived this storm, I’ve seen how much damage it has caused and it wasn’t easy to watch.

    Your creation looks so comforting to my soul, and I’m sure it tastes amazing.

    Take care Chef!

  8. This is a beautiful dessert to prepare during the holiday season.

  9. What a spectacular dessert!! I love all the glorious berries on top!

  10. Chef Dennis, that is indeed a gorgeous dessert.
    And, I know just what you mean. Like you, when I really need to cheer myself up, I also find solace in the kitchen and, invariably, I bake. I love visiting your blog, especially when you make sweets. :)

  11. I know you made it through the first storm, now hope you make it through voting day and the second storm! (I know you will ;-) I’ve got a pile of pomegranates. Although they’d be Amethyst on the top, not sure about the crunch factor of the seeds. Have you ever used them on / in your desserts? I tell you, your desserts push my sweet tooth button! Guess I better get out on that bike ride I’d planned today (it’s 80F here…)

    • hi Lynn

      yes I have used pomegranate seeds but you really have to enjoy eating them, otherwise they end up on the side of the plate. now your just teasing me, 80′s….sigh

  12. Gorgeous torte, I love the chocolate and cranberries!

  13. Sugar and butter are definitely therapeutic. I’m in love with the colors in this dessert…and the flavors.

  14. This sounds soooo fabulous!

  15. Is very good recipe. This is beautiful dessert. Sylvie.

  16. I too think there is a lot of comfort found in baking. This cheesecake is gorgeous, and the name so well deserved!

  17. Chef Dennis, making this today, for Dinner tomorrow. have a few questions. What size springform pan? How high up did you place the cookie crumb crust? Should any water be added to the topping? Can’t wait to make this and eat it! Thank you and Happy Thanksgiving.

    • hi Cathy I actually used a high tart pan, that’s how I got the fluted edge, but a standard 10 or 11 inch springform pan will work. I ran the crumb topping up about two inches and just carefully dusted off the parts that were too high so it looked even. And no water is necessary, I was hesitant at first but it cooked down perfectly. Good luck with your cheesecake and please let me know how it turns out.
      Happy Thanksgiving!

  18. Hi Chef Dennis – I should have waited for your super fast reply, but I didn’t think you would reply so fast. I used a 9″ springform pan, and it seems to have baked nicely. I should have had the crumb crust up higher on the pan, as I only had it up about one inch.
    My topping was starting to burn, so I added one cup of water. The cranberries didn’t burst like I would have expected, but they are all soft. It has jelled nicely. I will put the topping on late tonight and serve it tomorrow. Thanks from a mom of a 2008 Mountie mom who misses your cookies and peanut butter pie (and yes, I make your PB pie, but have been told it is not as awesome as yours!)

  19. Cheesecake was awesome! Thank you! The chocolate crust, creamy cheesecake and the cranberry/blueberry topping made for such great flavors.

    • I’m so happy to hear that it worked out well for you! Thanks so much for letting me know. Tell your daughter she’s always welcome to stop in for lunch, I always treat our returning girls anytime they stop by.

      • I will let my daughter know! She will be back home at Christmas, again, so I am sure she will take you up on the offer! I know she misses all your great recipes. She has turned into a great little baker herself, and has won some local baking competitions.

  20. This looks so delicious! I’m going to make the crust and the cheesecake tonight and the topping tomorrow. I don’t have any blueberries or cranberries though, so I’m going to use blackberries instead. Hope it turns out fine. I don’t have any corn starch though, can I use rice flour instead?

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