This has to be the prettiest dish I've ever made. It just looked so awesome sitting there on it's pedestal. Maybe all it needed was a few sprigs of mint for garnish but it looked damn fine out on the counter. And the best part? It tasted damn good too!
I've made a lot of good things since I started this blog, but this is the first dish I've ever made where I swear, people swooned. Mr. L told me there wasn't enough left to take to work with me to share with my co-workers (and he was dead serious) when there was a quarter of the cheesecake left. He really wanted the rest to himself.
I think what really made this dish was the fresh blueberries from my local farmers market. All the girl sold at her stand at that time was blueberries. Did I think to buy extra blueberries and freeze them to use this winter? Alas, no, but I plan on remembering to do that next year.
I will admit there were a few problems actually getting this dish made so I'm glad it came out so tasty in the end. The first time I went to make this I had waited too long after going to the market and the blueberries had already gone bad. Then I realized I had a ten inch spring-form when the recipe called for a nine inch and I couldn't find anything telling me what to do. When I went to get the oatmeal to make the crust I suddenly realized I had given the container to Mr. L several months before to take to work. I told Mr. L he didn't have to go out at 9 PM just to get the oatmeal but he knew I had been trying to make this dish for weeks so he made the trip. Just another reason why I married this man (and why I gave him lots of the cheesecake to eat). Then there was the butter. I had put it in the microwave and melted it before I realized I was out of oatmeal. When I was finally ready to make the crust I reheated the butter for ten seconds. At seven seconds the butter exploded all over the inside of the microwave. Thankfully Mr. L was still in "save the wife from having a meltdown while making the cheesecake" mode and he cleaned up the mess for me. He also melted the next batch of butter (did I mention he took away all the sharp knives?). After a little breakdown on the couch with me muttering questions about the cheesecake not liking me, I was able to finish the dish without any further problems.
Though there are three steps to this recipe and you do have to wait for things to set overnight, it wasn't that hard to make. Pretty simple actually (if you have all ingredients on hand before you start!) I got the recipe from the Epicurious website. It was originally in the July 2003 Bon Appetit magazine which I know I have somewhere with the recipe bookmarked. I realize that blueberry season is over but I think everyone should keep this recipe handy to make when the blueberries hit the farmers markets next year.
N0-BAKE BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE WITH GRAHAM CRACKER CRUST
9 whole graham crackers
1/2 cup old-fashioned oats
3 tablespoons (packed) golden brown sugar
1/8 teaspoon salt
5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 cup water
1 tablespoon unflavored gelatin (measured from 2 envelopes)
12 ounces Philadelphia-brand cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
3 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup chilled heavy whipping cream
1 tablespoon sugar
4 1/2-pint baskets blueberries
2/3 cup blueberry jam
FOR CRUST: Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Blend first 4 ingredients in processor until graham crackers are finely ground. Add butter and vanilla; process until moist crumbs form. Press crumb mixture onto bottom and 1 inch up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan. Bake crust until deep golden brown, about 12 minutes. Cool.
FOR FILLING: Pour 1/4 cup water into small saucepan; sprinkle gelatin over. Let stand 10 minutes. Stir over very low heat just until gelatin dissolves. Set aside. Blend cream cheese, cream, sugar, and lemon juice in processor until smooth. Add berries; puree until smooth (some blueberry bits will remain). With machine running, add warm gelatin mixture through feed tube and blend well. Pour filling into crust. Cover; chill overnight. (Can be made 2 days ahead. Keep chilled.) Run knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Release pan sides. Transfer to platter.
FOR TOPPING: Beat cream and sugar in medium bowl until firm peaks form. Spread cream mixture thickly over top of cheesecake. Place berries in bowl. Heat jam in small saucepan over low heat until just melted. Pour jam over berries; toss to coat. Mound coated berries in center of cream, leaving 1-inch plain border. Chill cake at least 1 hour and up to 1 day.
Makes 10 servings.
Test Kitchen Tip: Whole graham crackers measure 5x2 1/4 inches before being broken into four smaller rectangles.
Note: I used Honey Made graham crackers (and appreciated the test kitchen tip), Philly Cream Cheese and my favorite Blueberry Preserves from Trader Joes.
Note: I saw no problems with using the 10-inch pan. I didn't use the full amount of blueberries for the topping. It just seemed to much. I saved the extra and used it in yogurt for breakfast and the Puff Pastry Shell Dessert.