December 2

December 2

Blackberry Swirl Cheesecake
with Biscotti and Toasted Pinenut Crust
topped with Blackberry, Lemon and Rosemary Curd

From the Kitchen of Science Teacher Don Sneddon 
Download a PDF version here


18 biscotti (plain or almond)
1/2 cup sugar
4.5 oz. toasted pine nuts
1/3 - 1/2 cup melted butter


12 oz. fresh blackberries
1/2 cup water
2 Tbsp. sugar
1 Tbsp.  cornstarch
4 – 8 oz. packages cream cheese at room temp.
1 1/2 cup sugar
4 eggs, at room temperature
1 cup sour cream
1 Tbsp.flour
1 tsp. vanilla


1 cup sugar
2 Tbsp. cornstarch

1/8 tsp. salt
1 cup water
3 egg yolks, slightly beaten
1 Tbsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 medium lemon, juiced and its peel grated
1 cup blackberries
1 Tbsp. butter

For the Crust:

Preheat oven to 350 oF. Toast the pine nuts until golden brown, watch them carefully as it is easy to burn them; cool. Break up the biscotti and pinenuts to a food processor and grind into fine crumbs. Mix together with sugar in medium bowl then slowly stir in melted butter. Press into a 9-inch springform pan that has been wrapped in three layers of aluminum foil. Bake for about 15 minutes.

For the Filling:

In a medium saucepan, make the blackberry sauce by combining blackberries, water, 2 tablespoons sugar and cornstarch. Bring to a boil and continue boiling for 5 minutes or until sauce is thick. Strain sauce through a sieve/strainer to remove the seeds.

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and 1.5 cups sugar with an electric mixer until smooth. Add eggs one at a time and blend in. Blend in sour cream and vanilla, followed by mixing in the flour.

Pour half of the batter into the pan. Spoon 3-4 tablespoons of the blackberry sauce on top. Pour in the remaining batter, then spoon in the remaining blackberry sauce over the top. Swirl the batter with the tip of a knife or a chopstick, to create the marbled effect. Bake for 1 hour or until set. Turn off the oven and crack it open using a folded towel to vent slowly for about 30 minutes. Run a knife around the edge of the pan to loosen it, then cool the cheesecake in a refrigerator overnight.

For the Topping:

Combine sugar, salt and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Gradually add water and whisk until well blended. Whisk in egg yolks, lemon peel, lemon juice and rosemary. Then add 1 cup of the blackberries, reserving the remaining ½ cup until after the curd has been passed through a sieve to remove the seeds and rosemary leaves. Cook over medium heat, whisking constantly until thick and bubbly. Boil about 1 minute longer and remove from heat. Stir in butter. Strain the curd while still hot into a plastic container. While it is still hot, fold in the remaining ½ cup of fresh blackberries before pouring over the top of the cheesecake.

Advent Challenge

If you bake or cook, make something for someone as a gesture of hospitality. If you don’t do either, invite them out to lunch or dinner.