Experts tell us that blueberries are a ‘superfood’, low in calories and high in nutrients. I just know how quickly they disappear from my fridge, either added to breakfast cereals, mixed with low-fat yoghurt for a delicious dessert, whizzed in with other fruit and veg as a smoothie, or of course added to the famous Blueberry Cheesecake which doesn’t last long either.
So, as it’s National Blueberry Cheesecake Day on 26th May, it seems like a good excuse to make another one (or two)!
This recipe uses a 24cm or 9” spring form cake tin, if you don’t have one of these just use a quiche or tart dish, or adjust the recipe to suit a different size tin.
175g Digestive Biscuits
75g Butter – Try and use butter instead of margarine, it really tastes so much better. Filling
450g Cream Cheese – Any brand, full-fat is better unless you are counting calories.
150g Caster Sugar – If you don’t have caster, just put granulated in a processor for a quick blitz.
1 Tsp Vanilla Extract
4 Eggs – Assume medium sized, but out-of-shell weight is 220g total.
2 Tbsp Sugar – Granulated, Caster, anything will do, it’s only going to be melted.
175g Blueberries Plus a few extra for decorating – try and buy the freshest you can, or pick them from one of the local pick-your-own sites.
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C / 160 C Fan / 355 F / Gas Mark 4.
2. Use butter to grease the inside bottom and sides of your cake/pie/tart tin.
3. The next bit’s easy, either put the biscuits into a food processor and pulse, or put them into a plastic bag and bash them into rough crumbs, or get your children to use up some of their excess energy and do it for you.
4. In a small saucepan, melt the butter, turn off the heat, then add the biscuit crumbs to the butter. Pour into the pie tin and with the back of a metal spoon push the mixture evenly right across the bottom of the tin (some people like it up the sides too so you will need to make a bit more if this is you). If the children are helping, try to encourage them to make it nice and even. Tip – larger bits of biscuit will not absorb the butter and the base will fall apart when served, so keep the crumbs small.
5. If you are not having the base up the sides of the tin, wipe them to remove any crumbs. This means that when you remove from the tin to serve the cheesecake, the edges will be nice and clean.
6. In a larger bowl, mixing bowl size, beat the cream cheese, eggs, caster sugar and vanilla until smooth and creamy. You can use a wooden spoon (and lots of energy) or I use my trusty Dualit hand mixer to make it quick and easy.
7. Spoon the cream cheese mixture on top of the biscuit mixture and smooth it over. Pop it into the oven for 40 minutes. Tip – You’ll know when it’s done if it’s slightly golden and it wobbles slightly when you shake it from side to side.
8. Put the tin (or tins if you are making more than one) onto cooling racks, and let them cool for about 15 -20 minutes, before removing the cheese cake from the tin and putting it onto your serving plate.
9. This by itself is a lovely baked Vanilla Cheesecake, sometimes known as a New York Cheesecake. If I’m going to serve it like this I always add a bit of extra vanilla into the mix, and I do have a child who will not eat blueberries, so I save a slice for him at this stage. It will also sit happily in the fridge if you are not planning on eating this until later.
10. Put the blueberries into a small pan, remember to keep some back for decorating, add the 2 tbsp sugar and 1 tbsp of water, and gently cook until a syrup is formed, turn off the heat and leave to cool. Tip – you will see a sort of glossy thicker sauce around the blueberries, and as you stir it will take longer for the gaps to close up.
11. The rest is straight forward, serve a slice of cheesecake with some of the delicious blueberry syrup poured over the top, and sprinkle with a handful of fresh blueberries and enjoy.
Tip – If you’re trying to make it look posh, dust with icing sugar and add a small sprig of mint.
Mama Ruth works from the ‘Living Kitchen’ at cooking2cooling, West Portway, Andover.
Many of her recipes use appliances which are available to buy in the showroom, Mama Ruth is happy to answer any questions you may have regarding cooking or appliances, pop in and say hello, or email email@example.com