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Vanilla Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping

By 8:19 AM , , , ,

It has been quite awhile since I've made a cheesecake.  I love them and enjoy baking them, but they tend to be time consuming - and now with The Baby, making anything other than ready in-a-flash desserts hasn't exactly been my reality. 

But back in November, my sister was coming in town for The Baby's Baptism and it was also my sister's 27th birthday celebration weekend with my family.  I asked her what kind of cake she would like and she said she wanted a cheesecake with either cherry or blueberry topping - cherry being her first choice.  Well, much to my dismay, after trips to every grocery store in Richmond (including Whole Foods & Trader Joe's) no one was carrying the cherries I needed.  So, blueberry cheesecake it was.

After much perusing, I decided to use a cheesecake recipe from Cooking Light and the blueberry topping is a Martha Stewart recipe.

I (and most importantly the Birthday Girl) loved the way this turned out.  The cheesecake wasn't overly heavy but just enough so that you didn't feel you were getting cheated by a "light" recipe.  I loved the flavor the vanilla bean imparted.  Definitely worth using instead of vanilla extract.

The topping was bright and not too sweet - and so much better than the topping that comes out of a can.

A quick note:
- I followed everything to a tee, except I ended up having to double the crust recipe.  This might have been because I used gluten-free cookie crumbs instead of regular graham cracker crumbs - however, I would be prepared with the quantity of ingredients in case you have to double up as well.

Vanilla Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping

3/4 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons butter, melted
2 teaspoons water
Cooking spray

3 (8-ounce) blocks fat-free cream cheese, softened
2 (8-ounce) blocks 1/3-less-fat cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 (8-ounce) carton fat-free sour cream
4 large eggs
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

1 1/2 pints (3 cups) blueberries
3/4 cup sugar
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 tablespoon cornstarch

Preheat oven to 400°.

To prepare crust, combine first 3 ingredients, tossing with a fork. Add 2 teaspoons water; toss with a fork until moist and crumbly. Gently press mixture into bottom and 1 1/2 inches up sides of a 9-inch spring form pan coated with cooking spray. Bake at 400° for 5 minutes; cool on a wire rack.
Reduce oven temperature to 325°.

To prepare filling, beat cheeses with a mixer at high speed until smooth. Combine 1 cup sugar, flour, and salt, stirring with a whisk. Add to cheese mixture; beat well. Add sour cream; beat well. Add eggs, 1 at a time, beating well after each addition. Stir in vanilla extract. Scrape seeds from vanilla bean; stir seeds into cheese mixture.

Pour cheese mixture into prepared pan; bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. Remove cheesecake from oven; run a knife around outside edge. Cool to room temperature. Cover and chill at least 8 hours.
For the topping, combine all ingredients in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, and cook until berries break down, about 4 minutes. Let cool, then refrigerate, covered, until cold (or up to 3 days).

Before serving, pour topping over cheesecake, allowing the topping to spill over the edges and down the sides.

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