Nothing’s more perfect for a Memorial Day or Fourth of July celebration than this patriotic Ol' Glory cheesecake! If you’re planning on bringing this to picnic, forget the whipped cream frosting and assemble the flag directly on the baked cheesecake. Use mini marshmallow for the stars and tote the cake safely in ice chest.
- 1 recipe 9-inch Junior’s Sponge Cake Crust
- Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese (use only full fat), at room temperature
- 1 2/3 cups sugar
- ¼ cup cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 extra-large eggs
- ¾ cup heavy or Whipping cream
- 1 tablespoon unflavored granulated gelatin
- 2 tablespoons cold water
- 3 cups cold heavy or Whipping cream
- ¼ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon pure vanilla extract
- 2 half-pints fresh raspberries (about 6 ounces each)
- 1 half-pint fresh blueberries (about 6 ounces)
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Generously butter the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Wrap the outside with aluminum foil, covering the bottom and extending all the way up the sides. Make and bake the sponge cake crust and leave it in the pan. Keep the oven on.
2. Put one package of the cream cheese, 1/3 cup of the sugar, and the cornstarch in a large bowl and beat with an electric mixer on low until creamy, about 3 minutes, scraping down the bowl a couple of times. Blend in the remaining cream cheese, one package at a time, stopping to scrape down the bowl after each one. Increase the mixer speed to medium and beat in the remaining 1 1/3 cups sugar, then the vanilla. Blend in the eggs, one at a time, beating well after adding each one. Beat in the cream only until completely blended. Be careful not to overmix! Gently spoon the cheese filling over the crust.
3. Place in a large shallow pan containing hot water that comes about 1 inch up the sides of the springform. Bake until the edges are light golden brown and the top is slightly golden tan, about 1¼ hours. Remove the cake from the water bath, transfer to a wire rack, and let cool for 2 hours (just walk away-don’t move it). Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until completely cold, preferably overnight or for at least 4 hours. Transfer to the freezer for at least 2 hours or until ready to decorate the cake (the frosting will set faster and be easier to handle on the slightly frozen cake).
4. To decorate, release and remove the sides of the springform, leaving the cake on the bottom of the pan. Place on a cake plate. Make the frosting: Place the gelatin in a heatproof measuring cup, stir in the cold water, and let stand until it swells and thickens. Cook in the microwave on high for about 30 seconds or over a pan of simmering water for about 1 minute, until clear and completely melted. In a medium-size bowl, whip the cream with the mixer on high until it thickens and soft peaks just begin to form. With the mixer still running, add the sugar and beat just until the cream stands up in peaks (don’t overmix or the cream will curdle). Beat in the vanilla. Add the melted gelatin all at once and beat until thoroughly incorporated. Transfer about half the frosting to a separate small bowl and refrigerate while you frost the top and sides of the cake with the remaining frosting. Fit a pastry bag with a medium closed-star tip (#31) or medium open-star tip (#32), fill with some of the reserved frosting, and pipe rosettes (page 26) around the edge of the cake bottom, if you wish.
5. To make the flag on top, place three straight horizontal rows of raspberries, pointed ends up, about 7 inches long across the bottom half of the cake and three 3½-inch lines in the top right-hand corner. Create a 3-inch blue square with the blueberries as the background for the stars in the upper left-hand corner of the cake. Then pipe whipped-cream stars (as many as 50 if you like) in between and on top of the blueberries, using a small open-star tip (#15).
6. Refrigerate until cold and set, at least 2 hours, or until ready to serve. Slice with a sharp straight-edge knife, not a serrated one. Cover any leftover cake and refrigerate. Do not freeze this cake.