For my family, blueberry season is one of the joys of summer. There is something about those little blue gems, chocked full of goodness, that my boys absolutely adore! Popping them in their mouths one by one or gobbling them by the handful, including them in a fruit salad, smoothie, blueberry pie or paired with yogurt and granola, they can't get enough of them.
Add to that, since the time they were very little, at least once a summer (and usually more than that), we'd go blueberry picking, which has given blueberries a special fondness in their hearts.As it happens, they also love cheesecake -in fact, it is the treat that two of my sons frequently request for their birthdays.
July, means blueberry season here in Vermont, and when you couple that with the fact my boys adore cheesecake, it was a no brainer to throw together a white chocolate, blueberry-lemon cheesecake for dessert the other night when I had dinner guests. I'm happy to report it was a lovely, not too heavy, treat for the senses, one which everybody enjoyed!
I thought I'd share the recipe, just in case you're family is like mine and loves both blueberries and cheesecake!
Bon Appétit -Life is Good...
1-1/2 cup 'Nilla Wafers, ground
1/2 cup Almonds, ground
1 stick Butter, melted
6 bricks Cream Cheese
3/4 cup Buttermilk
1/2 cup Sugar
1 bag White Chocolate Chips
4 Eggs, beaten
1 Lemon, juiced and zested
1-1/2 pints Blueberries
1/3 cup Flour
In a medium bowl, mix the ground 'Nilla Wafers and ground almonds well, then add the melted butter, and work it in until the mixture is thoroughly combined.
Greased 10" springform pan, then put a large piece of tinfoil on the bottom and wrap it up around the sides.
Put the crust mixture in, the springform pan, patting it down evenly on the bottom and partway up the sides. This is NOT an exact science so don't make yourself too crazy worrying about 'perfection'. Put the pan with crust aside for the moment.
Zest the lemon and set the zest aside.
Squeeze the lemon and put it aside.
Using a food processor or blender, grind/chop 1 pint of blueberries.
Cut 3 bricks of cream cheese into eighths and soften it, either in an oven or a microwave with 1/4 cup of buttermilk then transfer it to a large bowl. Repeat the process for the second 3 bricks of cream cheese.
Melt the white chocolate chips and the last 1/4 cup of buttermilk -either in a microwave or on low heat on the stove top.
Using an electric mixer, blend the entire cream cheese/buttermilk mixture until it's smooth. Blend in the sugar andflour, mixing until smooth.
Add the eggs, warm white chocolate, ground blueberries, lemon juice and lemon zest mixing it together until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.
Fold half of the second pint of blueberries (whole) into the mixture.
Put the springform pan into a larger pan. Add some warm water to the larger pan, until it goes about half way up the outside of the springform pan.
Pour the cheesecake filling into the springform pan, pop the whole thing into the oven and bake @325º for about an hour. After an hour, check to see if the center is jiggly. If it is, let it bake another few minutes (don't let it brown), take it out and let it sit until room temperature.
Refrigerate for 4 hours.
Take the cheesecake out of the fridge 1 hour before you're going to use it, to bring it up to room temperature.
Pour a little water over the remaining 1/2 pint of blueberries, let them drain, then dredge them in sugar. Arrange them on top of the cake, cut a slim piece of lemon, cutting one edge, then twist it and put it in the center of the blueberries. Add 3 lemon leaves (florists usually carry them) to complete the garnish, and serve!