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
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.