Black Raspberry Swirl Cheesecake
-1 tablespoon soft margarine
-6 to 8 graham cracker squares, or a handful of crisp-textured cookies, crushed
-3 (8-oz.) packages cream cheese
-1 cup granulated sugar
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1 cup milk
-1/2 cup seedless black raspberry (or other variety) jam
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. In the bottom of a springform pan, rub about 1 tablespoon margarine or butter with fingers until evenly distributed.
In a small bowl, crush 6-8 graham cracker squares (or approximate equivalent of wafer cookies, Oreos, or whatever else you’re using) and sprinkle by handful over the margarine-coated pan bottom until evenly covered. Set springform aside.
Gradually add three eggs to the cream cheese mixture, one at a time, beating after each addition.
Microwave 1/2 cup seedless black raspberry jam (or other variety of jam/jelly/preserves) for about 30 seconds and stir briefly until smooth.
To the reserved 1/3 remaining cheesecake batter, pour most of the heated jam. You can reserve a tiny bit of jam for swirling on the very top of the cheesecake if you like. Do not overstir when adding the jam to batter; your spoon should only make two or three quick circles around the batter to lightly incorporate the jam.
Pour the jam/batter mixture on top of the existing batter in the spring form, swirling or patting lightly with a butter knife (again, only on the surface layer to avoid disturbing graham crumbs!) until all batter has been incorporated.
If your swirls have begun to look “washed out” or overly stirred, you can use that last little bit of straight-up melted jam you saved back to swirl across the top for contrast (optional).
This will create a water bath for preserving moisture within the hot oven to keep the top of your cheesecake from cracking too much during bake time.
Place the whole thing in the oven. Bake 30 minutes, resisting the urge to open oven door often. (You may want to add additional water to the water bath around the 15-20 minute mark, but other than that, try not to have the oven open during bake time.