- 1-2/3 cups vanilla wafer crumbs
- ½ cup almonds
- 2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed
- ½ cup unsalted butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon almond extract
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 3 packages (8 ounce each) cream cheese, softened
- 1-½ cups granulated white sugar
- 4 large eggs
- ½ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon rum extract
- 3 cups fresh blackberries
- 2/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 1 tablespoon rum extract
- ½ cup confectioners' sugar, sifted
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Combine vanilla wafers, almonds and light brown sugar in a food processor. Pulse until reduced to crumbs. Add melted butter and pulse on and off until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Add almond and vanilla extracts. Pulse until well-blend. Press crust mixture onto the bottom and about 1 inch up the sides of a 9-inch springform pan. Chill until needed.
- Beat cream cheese on medium-low speed until smooth and creamy. Increase speed to medium-high and beat in sugar until light and fluffy. Add eggs one by one, beating well after each addition, scraping down the sides of bowl as needed. Beat in sour cream on low speed, followed by rum extract, until well incorporated.
- Pour batter into prepared crust and smoothen top. Gently tap pan over counter to release any air bubbles. Bake for 60 to 70 minutes or until center is almost set but still jiggly. Turn oven off and open the door a quarter of the way. Allow cheesecake to cool inside the oven for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove pan from oven and run a thin knife around the side to loosen. Allow to cool completely. Chill for at least 6 hours or overnight.
- Once cheesecake is firm and thoroughly chilled, combine together blackberries, granulated sugar and water in a pan. Cook over medium-high heat for 4 to 6 minutes or until berries are tender and juices begin to thicken. Remove from heat and stir in rum extract. Allow to cool completely.
- Remove pan sides and spoon Blackberry Topping over cake. Sift confectioners' sugar all over cake and cut into wedges before serving.
- For a simple version, follow steps for crust and cheesecake layer. Fold 1 to 1-½ cups fresh blackberries into cream cheese mixture. Warm 1 cup blackberry preserve or jam and spread over cake as topping. Dust with confectioners’ sugar, if desired.
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