Thursday, October 21, 2004

Raspberry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

I didn't have to cajole this Pillsbury bake-off recipe out of a nice PTO mommy who served it for a breakfast meeting. Since then I found the "original" or perhaps a variation from "Beatrice Ojakangas'Great Holiday Baking Book, summer section: she prepared it with 2 cups of fresh blueberries. The kids like raspberry preserves but I can imagine other fruit or preserves would do very well (I will try cherry jam next time).
This is the recipe to convert those who think cheesecake is too rich and cloying. The cream cheese filling is not too thick and the crust is coffee-cake style, kind of like the Sara Lee butter streusel...but with a more tender crumb. Very good with strong dark coffee.

2 & 1/4 cups all purpose flour
1 cup sugar, divided
3/4 cup (1&1/2 sticks), at room temp.
1/4 tsp. salt
1 & 1/2 tsp. baking powder
3/4 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 tsp. almond extract
1 8-oz. pkg. cream cheese, at room temp.
1 cup (or more) raspberry jam, OR 2 cups fresh blueberries, cleaned
1/2 cup slivered/sliced almonds

Preheat the oven to 350F.
Lightly grease the bottom and sides of a 10-in springform pan and dust with flour.
In a large mixing bowl mix the flour and 3/4 cup of the sugar. With a pastry blender or fork, cut in the butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
Reserve 1 cup of the mixture.

Add the baking powder, salt, sour cream, 1 of the eggs, and the almond extract to the remaining flour mixture.
Press the dough over the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of the pan; it should be about 1/4 inch thick on the sides. Refrigerate.

For the filling, mix the cream cheese, the other egg, and the remaining 1/4 cup of sugar until well blended.

Pour the filling into the dough mixture and spread out evenly. Spoon raspberry jam (or arrange blueberries) over the top. Mix the reserved flour mixture with the almonds and sprinkle over the fruit.

Bake for 50 to 55 minutes or until the filling is set and the crust is golden brown.
Cool 15 minutes, then remove the sides of the pan.