The last time I baked a cheesecake, I poured a can of blueberry pie filling on top. Sure, it was thick and nice but the thickness was too unnatural for me and I wondered if I could make my own topping. So, I bought a pack of frozen blueberries and decided to try. The result was lovely but my kids preferred that the blueberries be a bit mushier. No problem, I said, next time I’ll simmer the syrup a bit longer.
So, did I bake a cheesecake just to experiment? No, shucks, that would be too pricey an experiment if the intention was just to satisfy my curiosity. See, my daughter has gone off to college and we only see her on weekends. When she’s home, I cook and bake her favorites. Last weekend, we had lengua (ox tongue) with mushroom sauce for dinner on Friday, homemade pizza and blueberry cheesecake on Saturday.
My younger daughter, Alex, did the cheesecake crust. She likes helping out with the cooking. She just doesn’t like shelling shrimps or touching raw meat.
Please note that this is a new recipe for cheesecake as well, the proportion of ingredients, baking temperature and baking time quite different from before. This cake is heavier and more dense which my family seemed to like better. The top did not crack either.
For the crust:
1-1/2 c. of crushed graham crackers
1/2 c. of melted butter
1 tbsp. of sugar
For the cake:
500 g. of cream cheese (I used Philadelphia brand), at room temperature
1 c. of cream
1 c. of sugar
3 eggs, at room temperature
1/2 c. of flour, sifted
grated zest of one lemon
juice of half a lemon
1/2 tsp. of vanilla essence
For the topping:
1 c. of blueberries (fresh or frozen)
1/2 c. of sugar
*Note that you can double the amount of ingredients for the topping
Preheat the oven to 325oF.
Mix together the ingredients for the crust and press onto the bottom of a 8-inch springform pan. Bake for 10 minutes. Cook on a wire rack.
Take two large squares of aluminum foil and wrap the bottom and sides of the springform pan.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar with a wire whisk until soft and creamy. Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each addition. Add the flour; stir until smooth. Pour in the cream, lemon juice and vanilla essence. Mix until smooth. Stir in the lemon zest. Pour over the prepared crust.
Place the springform pan in a larger baking dish. Pour enough water into the baking dish to come up to half of the height of the springform pan. Bake for an hour and 10 minutes. Turn off the oven but leave the cheesecake inside for another two hours.
While the cheesecake bakes, make the topping. Place the blueberries and sugar in a thick-bottomed pan. Place the pan over medium high heat and cook until the sugar melts. The blueberries with expel its own juices and mix in with the sugar. When the mixture is boiling, swirl the pan to evenly distribute the liquid and solids. Continue boiling gently (medium heat is best) until the mixture thickens and turns syrupy. Cool to room temperature.
Take the cheesecake out of the oven and cool to room temperature. Spread the blueberries and syrup on top and chill the cheesecake for a couple of hours before slicing and serving.