Recipe by Dawn Michelle Thomas, Fireside Pies, Dallas

Cheesecake Base

2 1/2 pounds cream cheese, soft
2 1/2 cups sugar
1 vanilla bean, split and seeded
7 eggs
1 cup sour cream

In a stand up mixer, whip cream cheese for 6 minutes on medium-high speed. Add sugar and mix for 2 minutes. Using the blunt end of a knife, scrape the seeds out of the vanilla bean, add to the mixture, and combine. Scrape bowl well. While mixing on low speed, slowly add eggs. Mix in the sour cream. The cheesecake base should be pourable. Place in a large container and refrigerate.


2 cups vanilla wafers, crushed fine
2 tablespoons melted butter

In a food processor crush cookies and put in a large bowl. Melt butter and pour over cookies. Combine until mixture looks like wet sand. Press into a cheesecake mold. Bake at 350 degrees until golden brown, about 45 minutes. Allow crust to cool.

Blackberry Sauce

1 pint (approximately 2 packages) blackberries
3 tablespoons sugar
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon maple syrup
1 lime, juice only

In a large saucepan combine all ingredients. Bring mixture to a slow boil, remove pan from heat, and purée in a food processor. Allow sauce to cool before swirling into cheesecake.

Pour cheesecake batter into mold. Drizzle with blackberry sauce and swirl with a toothpick. Bake at 300 degrees for approximately 1 1/2 hours. The cheesecake should form a light golden brown crust on the top and slightly puff around the edges. [Editor’s note: Start checking after about an hour.] Allow to cool at room temperature for 1 hour. Refrigerate for 6 hours or overnight before serving. Recipe can be made two days ahead. Serves 10.