For the holiday of love I made my loved ones a showstopper dessert! Cheesecake is not the best choice if you don’t truly enjoy baking, it takes a long time, lots of ingredients and a fair amount of steps, but there’s nothing super tricky about it and in the end, you get such a special treat! It’s an excellent dessert for a special occasion. Before you start, load up on cream cheese and the crumb crust ingredients of your choice, and remember, you probably won’t eat this the day you make it because of the long bake and the even longer cool time. I used a blueberry sauce to mix into this cake, its a sauce we make regularly for pancakes, crepes, and waffles, but it works great for this dessert as well! I highly recommend you double the quantities below and use the sauce for all your sweet fruit sauce needs. This is my own creation from combining some Carolines kitchen classics. Enjoy and Happy Valentines Day!
8-9 Chocolate Graham Cracker sheets (5-6 oz)
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
1/8 teaspoon coarse salt
2 Tablespoons sugar
2 pounds (four 8 ounce bars) cream cheese at room temperature
1 1/2 Cups plus 1 Tablespoon sugar
pinch of salt
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
4 large eggs
6 oz of frozen or fresh blueberries
2 1/2 Tablespoons sugar
1-2 Tablespoons fresh lemon juice strained
1 cinnamon stick
2 teaspoons water
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1 Tablespoon butter
- Preheat oven to 350 – Line the bottom of your springform pan with a parchment round (if you don’t have one, it will be okay, but it does help your crust to come with you when you take it off the pan)
- To make the blueberry sauce (double if you want to use it for other things, which you probably do) Combine blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a stainless steal pot. Cook over medium heat until the berries release their juices. Stir the water and cornstarch into a smooth paste and briskly stir it into the berry sauce then cook until thickened, about 1 minute. Mix in the butter and let cool. Strain to use on cheesecake as you will only need 2-3 Tablespoons.
- To make the crust grind your graham cracker crumbs to a fine consistency. Stir crumbs with the melted butter, sugar and salt. Press mixture into your springform pan, pushing up a bit on the sides, try to get it into an even layer. Bake until set, about 10 minutes, then let it cool completely and turn the oven down to 325.
- To make the filling – be sure your oven is down to 325. Wrap your springform with a double layer of foil. Put a large pot of water to boil.
- With an electric mixer, beat cream cheese until fluffy and smooth, about 3 minutes.
- Reduce to low and add sugar in a slow steady stream.
- Add the salt and vanilla and beat until well combined.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, beating after each until just combined, don’t overmix.
- Pour cream cheese filling over the crust.
- Drop your strained blueberry sauce in circles around the top of your cheesecake, you’ll only need 2-3 Tablespoons – then use a toothpick or an offset spatula to swirl it into the top layer.
- Set foil lined Springform pan inside a large shallow roasting pan. Carefully pour boiling water into roasting pan to reach halfway up the sides of your springform pan. Bake until cake is set, but still slightly wobbly in the center, about 75 minutes. At this point, I cracked the oven turned off for about 15 minutes before removing the cake carefully and unwrapping from the foil to cool on a rack for a good 2 hours then refrigerate uncovered a good 24 hours. It might help to run a knife around the edge before unmolding from your pan.
Recipe adapted from Joy of Cooking Hot Blueberry Sauce pg. 845 and Martha Stewart’s Cakes – Lemon Swirl Cheesecake page 172