I should really call these Raspberry Cheesecake Bars with Copious Amounts of Fresh Raspberries Not to Mention a Shortbread Crust. (That's not too long is it??) These bars are so rich and creamy and I would say you can only have one, but I'm pretty sure I ate half the pan while shooting sooo...
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Prepare an 8x8 or 9x9 inch pan with parchment paper or aluminum foil sprayed with nonstick spray. (Or just spray the pan)
Make the raspberry swirl: In a small saucepan, combine 6 ounces raspberries, 1/4 cup water and 1/4 cup sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat, and boil for 3 minutes, stirring. Reduce the heat to medium and then cook, stirring occasionally, for another 5-8 minutes, until mixture is thick. (It will continue to thicken as it cools) Set aside to cool completely. I put mine in the fridge.
Make the crust: In a large bowl or stand mixer, beat the 1/2 cup butter and 1/2 cup sugar until light and fluffy, stopping to scrape the bottom and sides.
Add the salt and flour and combine. It should look like coarse crumbs. It won't come together in a ball, but if you squeeze a bit in your hand it should stick together.
Pour the mixture into the prepared pan and press down. I like to use the bottom of a glass for this step. Bake at 350 for 16-18 minutes, until the edges are just starting to turn golden. Remove and set aside.
Meanwhile, make the cheesecake filling. Beat the cream cheese until smooth, scraping the sides and bottom. Add 1/2 cup sugar and beat. Add the egg and almond extract, and beat well.
When the crust has had a few minutes to cool, pour the cheesecake mixture in and spread to the sides.
Dollop the raspberry mixture on top of the cheesecake. Make sure to leave some white parts visible so that you have a chance to swirl.
Use a knife to make swirls back and forth across the pan.
Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes, until the edges are just barely starting to turn golden (just a little bit!!)
If you have time, turn the oven off and leave the door open for a half hour. This will help your cheesecake not to crack. (Rapid changes in temperature are a part of that.)
Cover and refrigerate until completely chilled, about 2 hours in the fridge, or one hour in the freezer.
Use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to slice the cheesecake (if you want clean lines). I use a washcloth to wipe off the knife in between slices.
If you prefer a taller cheesecake layer, double the cheesecake filling ingredients (cream cheese, sugar, egg, extract) and leave everything else the same. Bake the crust the same amount, but increase the bake time for the cheesecake to about 50 minutes.