Alsatian Cheesecake

Yield: 12 servings


  • Shortbread Crust
    • 300g flour
    • 45g (1/3 cup) confectioners' sugar
    • 1/2 tsp salt
    • 150g butter, softened
    • 80 ml water
  • Filling
    • 16 oz. cream cheese
    • 20 oz. mascarpone cheese
    • 200g sugar
    • 70g flour
    • 1 tbsp vanilla
    • 100ml heavy whipping cream
    • Zest of two lemons
    • 5 egg whites
    • 5 egg yolks
    • A pinch of salt
  • Coulis
    • 12 oz. fresh berries (strawberries, blueberries, raspberries)
    • 1/2 cup sugar
    • 1 tbsp lemon juice
    • 1 tbsp water
    • Pinch of salt
  • Topping (optional)
    • Confectioners' sugar
    • Whipped cream


  1. For the shortbread crust, combine the flour, salt, and sugar in a mixing bowl.  Add the softened butter and cut into small pieces until you have a crumbly, sandy mixture.  Add the water and toss with a fork to form into a ball.  Wrap in plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.
  2. For the filling, in a large mixing bowl combine the cheeses, sugar, flour, vanilla, cream, and lemon zest.  Blend well.  Add the egg yoks and mix well.  Be sure to scrape down the sides.
  3. In a separate bowl, mix the egg whites and a pinch of salt.  Whip on high until stiff peaks form.
  4. Gently fold the egg whites into the filling from step #2.  Set aside.
  5. Butter and flour a 10" springform pan (3" deep).
  6. Roll the shortbread pastry into a large circle.  Transfer to your prepared cake pan, pressing into the bottom and sides and minimizing air pockets.  Bring it up the sides 2", leaving 1" free at the top.  Prick the dough with a fork on the bottom and sides.
  7. Pour the prepared filling into the cake pan.  Bake at 350°F for 60-65 minutes.  You should see the filling puff up and rise, possibly going a bit higher than the crust -- that's ok.
    • At 45 minutes, if it's browning too much then cover with aluminum foil.
  8. Turn off the oven, leave the door ajar, and let cool for ~20 minutes.
  9. Remove the cheesecake from the oven.  Let cool on a wire rack on the counter for 75 minutes.
  10. Loosen the sides of the cheesecake from the springform, then reattach.  Place a round wire rack on top of the cheesecake, invert the cake onto the rack, and let the cake fall out of the pan.  Keep the rim of your springform on the cake.  This step will give you the pattern on top.  Ideally, the cheesecake cools to room temperature inverted, but if it looks like some of the cake will fall through then you can flip it back.  The longer you leave it, the strong the imprint.
  11. Once cooled, flip the cheesecake back right-side-up.  Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  12. For the Coulis, place all ingredients in a saucepan.  Bring to a simmer, and simmer for 6-8 minutes until the fruit is softened and the sugar fully dissolved.  Remove from the heat and let cool for a few minutes.
  13. Puree the berries in a food processor.  Strain out the solids using a fine-mesh wire strainer.  Store the coulis in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  14. Immediately before serving, dust with confectioners' sugar.  Serve with coulis and whipped cream.