Cheesecake lovers, rejoice. This blueberry cheesecake is incredibly easy to make and requires no water bath or other special equipment. It’s perfectly creamy, packed full of lemon zest and juicy blueberries, and topped with a luxurious blueberry sauce. It’s guaranteed to impress, and you’ll want to make it over and over (and over) again.
220g(2 ¼ cups) finely crushed digestive biscuits(You can also use graham crackers. If you need the cheesecake to be gluten-free, you can use gluten-free digestives or rich tea biscuits, or other gluten-free cookies/biscuits of choice.)
65g(½ stick + ½ tbsp) unsalted butter, melted
For blueberry cheesecake filling:
600g(2 ⅔ cups) full-fat cream cheese, room temperature(I used Philadelphia cream cheese.)
115g(½ cup) full-fat plain or Greek-style yoghurt, room temperature(You can also use sour cream.)
150g(¾ cup) caster/superfine sugar
15g(2 tbsp) cornstarch
zest of 1 lemon
3UK medium/US largeeggs, room temperature
½tspvanilla bean paste(or 1 tsp vanilla extract)
250g(2 cups) fresh blueberries
For blueberry sauce:
250g(2 cups) fresh or frozen blueberries(Note that frozen blueberries might end up a bit softer and mushier than fresh ones.)
50g(¼ cup) caster/superfine or granulated sugar
For cheesecake base:
Adjust the oven rack to the middle position, pre-heat the oven to 355ºF (180ºC) and line an 8 inch (20cm) springform pan with baking/greaseproof paper.
Mix together the crushed digestive biscuits and melted butter, then transfer the mixture into the lined springform pan and, using the flat bottom of a glass or measuring cup, compress them into an even layer with an approximately 1 ½ inch (4cm) rim around the edge.Tip: Depending on the type and brand of cookies/biscuits you use, you might need slightly less or slightly more butter than listed in this recipe. Add the butter slowly, mixing well after each addition, until you reach the consistency of wet sand. You want a mixture that somewhat sticks together or holds its shape when pressed together, but it shouldn't feel/look greasy or oily.
Bake at 355ºF (180ºC) for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool until warm.
For blueberry cheesecake filling:
Reduce the oven temperature to 285ºF (140ºC).Tip: If your springform pan isn't 100% leak-proof, I recommend you also get a baking sheet ready to place the cheesecake on it before it goes into the oven. This will catch any small leaks of butter from the cheesecake base, and prevent any smoking or burning at the bottom of the oven.
In a large bowl using a whisk, mix the cream cheese and yoghurt together until smooth. Tip: Make sure to MIX rather than whisk or aerate – you don't want to incorporate too much air into the mixture. If you don't want to do this by hand, use a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment on the lowest speed setting. (I don't recommend using a hand mixer.)
Mix together sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest, and add them to the cream cheese mixture. Mix well until combined and smooth.
Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition, until smooth.
Add the lemon juice, vanilla and lemon zest. Mix well until smooth.Tip: At this point, the cheesecake batter shouldn’t be too runny – you should be able to see streaks in the filling from mixing, and when you spoon out a dollop and let it drop back into the mixture, it shouldn’t level out and disappear back into the rest of the filling. This texture/consistency means that you haven’t over-mixed your batter (so it’s less likely to crack) and that the blueberries won’t sink during baking.
Add the blueberries and fold them in until evenly distributed.
Transfer the blueberry cheesecake filling onto the slightly cooled cheesecake base and smooth out the top.
Bake at 285ºF (140ºC) for about 50-60 minutes, or until the filling is very light golden brown around the edges, the edges are fully set, and the middle is still wobbly when you gently shake the baking pan.Tip: This baking time range is merely a guideline – you should always judge the doneness of a cheesecake based on its physical indicators (the wobbliness of the centre, how set the edges are, etc.) rather than on the baking time, especially as each oven behaves slightly differently. You should start checking your cheesecake about 10 minutes before the recommended baking time.
Turn off the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature in the turned-off oven with the oven door ajar.
Once cooled to room temperature, transfer the cheesecake into the fridge for at least 4 hours (or preferably overnight) before removing it from the baking pan onto a serving plate.
For blueberry sauce:
Add the blueberries, sugar and lemon juice to a saucepan. Cook over medium heat with frequent stirring until the blueberries release their juices and soften slightly – you don’t want them to fall apart or become mushy, just slightly softened.
Drain the released juices through a sieve and transfer them back into the saucepan. Transfer the blueberries into a separate bowl. Return the juices to the heat and cook until reduced – they should be very viscous and syrupy.
Once reduced, pour the juices over the blueberries and mix together. Then, pour the blueberry sauce over the chilled cheesecake and gently spread it out into an even layer.Tip: The sauce on top does make cutting the cheesecake slightly messy – so, what you could do is cut the cheesecake without the sauce on top and them spoon it over the individual slices right before serving.
Chill the blueberry-sauce-covered cheesecake in the fridge for 30-45 minutes before slicing into individual portions and serving.
The blueberry cheesecake keeps well in a closed container or tightly wrapped in cling film in the fridge for 4-5 days.
Recipe by The Loopy Whisk (www.theloopywhisk.com).