Introduction: Valentine's Day Sweetie Cheesecake

With Valentine's Day just around the corner, why not say "I Love You" with a homemade Lemon Cheesecake with Raspberry Glaze.  Cheesecakes are easy to make and inexpensive too (which can be our little secret).

Step 1: What You'll Need

You will need the following pieces of equipment to get started on your cheesecake:
1.  Heart shaped mold
2.  Electric Mixer
3.  Mixing bowl
4.  Whisk
5.  Small sauce pot
6.  Spatula
7.  Oven set at 350 degrees

You will need the following ingredients for the lemon cheesecake:
2 cups Graham Crackers (or crumbs)
2 tbsp. sugar
3 oz butter, melted
3 (8oz) packages cream cheese, softened
3/4 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tbsp. grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. vanilla extract

You will need the following ingredients for the Raspberry Glaze:
1/2 cup sugar

2 tbsp. cornstarch
1/4 tsp. salt
3/4 cup water
1 cup fresh or frozen raspberries
1 egg yolk
1 tbsp. butter

Step 2: Graham Cracker Crust

Combine 2 cups of graham crackers and crush in a bowl by hand or with a heavy mallet.
Add 2 tbsp. sugar and 3oz melted butter, mixing well into the graham cracker crumbs
Press into bottom and up sides of your heart shaped baking pan.

Step 3: Preparing the Cheesecake Filling

Beat 3 (8oz) packages of cream cheese with electric mixer until light and fluffy.
Gradually add 3/4 cup sugar, mixing well.
Add 3 eggs (one at a time) beating well after each addition.
Stir in 1 tbsp. lemon rind, 1/4 cup lemon juice and 2 tsp. vanilla extract

Step 4: Add Cheesecake Mix to Crust

Add Cheesecake batter to graham cracker crust, fill about 3/4 full.

Step 5: Preparing the Oven

Preheat oven to 350 degrees
Place cheesecake on baking pan.
Add 3 cups of water to the baking pan (this prevents the cheesecake from cracking during baking!)

Bake for 90 minutes or until a toothpick removed from the center comes out clean.

Step 6: Preparing the Raspberry Glaze

In a small saucepot, combine  1/2 cup sugar, 2 tbsp. cornstarch, 1/4 tsp. salt, 3/4 cup water, 1 egg yolk, 1 cup raspberries - Basically everything - except the butter.

Heat over moderate heat and whisk until sauce mixture comes to a boil and thickens.  Stir in 1 tbsp. butter and remove from heat.

Step 7: Glazing the Cheesecake (spreading the Love!)

When cheesecake has finished cooking, allow to cool for 1 hour and unmold by flipping it upside down onto a plate and then right side up onto another plate or serving dish.

Spread Raspberry Glaze (easiest to spread if warm) over the cheesecake.

Decorate with additional ideas like chocolate, white chocolate or candy Valentine hearts.

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