I have always been more of a cook than a baker, gravitating toward savory over sweet. However, this week is another birthday at our house with a request for New York-Style Blueberry Cheesecake, so that is the focus of Test Kitchen Tuesday this week—I am even purchasing a springform pan to do this!
While researching recipes, it was apparent there is a clear divide among cheesecake fans, some prefer creamy and light while others want more dense and rich cheesecake. When my husband mentioned that the best cheesecake he had ever eaten was during our trip to New York, it was obvious he preferred the dense, rich cheesecake of the Big Apple. In order to satisfy a variety of appetites this week I am posting three cheesecake recipes in which to choose.
The first is a recipe from Epicurious.com (sent from a friend) for Blueberry Cheesecake, which is described in the reviews to be the light and creamy version. The second is from Cooksillustrated.com for New York-Style Cheesecake; this recipe was very similar to Emeril’s. The third is a White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake (also sent from a friend) which sounds like a special occasion cake for sure—I am planning to use this crust and topping recipe for the New York-Style Cheesecake. I hope you join me in this delicious adventure!
In the next week or so:
1. Make one of the recipes (posted below)
2. Leave a comment describing your experience, opinion, adjustments, or suggestions. ♥ If you do focus on altering it to economize, choose healthier ingredients or techniques, make it gluten-free/allergy sensitive, embellish for entertaining, or incorporate into batch/once-a-month cooking, please mention that too.
3. Subscribe to comments so you can see what others have done.
4. If you are feeling especially proud of your creation, snap a photo and send it to me at firstname.lastname@example.org so it can be included.
2 1/3 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup unsalted butter — (1 stick) melted
1/4 cup sugar
4 8-ounce packages cream cheese — room temperature
1 1/2 cups sugar
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
5 large eggs
1 16-ounce container sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-fruit blueberry spread
2 6-ounce baskets fresh blueberries
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F. Wrap outside of 10-inch-diameter springform pan with heavy-duty foil. Combine all ingredients in processor. Blend using on/off turns just until crumbs are moist. Press crumb mixture firmly onto bottom and 2 inches up sides of prepared pan. Bake until crust begins to brown, about 8 minutes. Transfer crust to rack and cool. Maintain oven temperature.
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until will blended. Beat in flour. Add eggs 1 at a time, beating just until combined. Beat in sour cream, milk, and vanilla. Pour filling into crust.
Place springform pan in large roasting pan. Pour enough hot water into roasting pan to come 1 inch up sides of pan. Bake cheesecake until just set in center and top is slightly puffed and golden brown, about 1 hour. Turn off oven; keep door closed. Let cheesecake stand in oven 1 hour. Remove cheesecake from roasting pan. Refrigerate until cold, at least 6 hours. Cover; refrigerate overnight.
Stir blueberry spread in large skillet over low heat until melted. Remove from heat. Add blueberries; toss to coat. Spoon blueberry mixture over top of cake, spreading evenly. Chill until cold, at least 1 hour and up to 4 hours.
Run small sharp knife around sides of cake to loosen. Release pan sides. Transfer cake to platter. Cut into wedges.
Note: The following photo is by Julie Blank, she substituted the fresh strawberries for the blueberry topping.
New York-Style Cheesecake
1 cup graham cracker crumbs — (4 ounces, 8 whole crackers, processed in food processor until uniformly fine)
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
5 tablespoons unsalted butter — melted, plus additional 1 tablespoon melted butter for greasing pan
2 1/2 pounds cream cheese — cut into rough 1-inch chunks and softened
1/8 teaspoon table salt
1 1/2 cups granulated sugar — (10 1/2 ounces)
1/3 cup sour cream — (2 1/2 ounces)
2 teaspoons lemon juice from 1 lemon
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 large egg yolks
6 large eggs
For the crust: Adjust oven rack to lower-middle position and heat oven to 325 degrees. Combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar in medium bowl; add 5 tablespoons melted butter and toss with fork until evenly moistened. Brush bottom and sides of 9-inch springform pan with most of remaining melted butter, making sure to leave enough to brush pan in step 3. Empty crumbs into springform pan and press evenly into pan bottom. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown around edges, about 13 minutes. Cool on wire rack while making filling.
For the cheesecake filling: Increase oven temperature to 500 degrees. In standing mixer fitted with paddle attachment, beat cream cheese at medium-low speed to break up and soften slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape beater, bottom, and sides of bowl well with rubber spatula; add salt and about half of sugar and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; beat in remaining sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla, and beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add yolks and beat at medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Scrape bowl; add whole eggs two at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, and scraping bowl between additions.
Brush sides of springform pan with remaining melted butter. Set springform pan on rimmed baking sheet (to catch any spills if springform pan leaks). Pour filling into cooled crust and bake 10 minutes; without opening oven door, reduce oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue to bake until instant-read thermometer inserted into center of cheesecake registers about 150 degrees, about 11/2 hours. Transfer cake to wire rack and cool 5 minutes; run paring knife between cake and side of springform pan. Cool until barely warm, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours. (Cake can be refrigerated up to 4 days.)
To unmold cheesecake, remove sides of pan. Slide thin metal spatula between crust and pan bottom to loosen, and then slide cake onto serving plate. Let cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve.
NOTES: When cutting the cake, have a pitcher of hot tap water nearby; dipping the blade of the knife into the water and wiping it clean with a kitchen towel after each cut helps make neat slices.
White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake
Source: Kris Gasper
2 cups crushed graham crackers
1 cup slivered almonds
1/2 cup white sugar
1/4 cup clarified butter — melted
2 tablespoons caramel topping
1 pound white chocolate — chopped
32 ounces cream cheese — softened
3/4 cup white sugar
4 eggs — beaten
2 egg yolks
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/2 cup white sugar
1 teaspoon cornstarch
1/4 cup water
1 pint fresh blueberries
2 teaspoons lemon juice
Preheat oven to 275 degrees F (135 degrees C).
Make the crust: In a food processor, blend the graham cracker crumbs, almonds and sugar until the almonds are ground fine. Pour in the melted butter and caramel while processing, until mixture is combined. Press the mixture onto the bottom, and half way up the side of a 10″ springform pan.
Make the filling: In a metal bowl over a pan of barely simmering water, melt the white chocolate, stirring until smooth. Remove from heat and set aside. In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and 3/4 cup sugar until smooth. Beat in the eggs and the egg yolks, one at a time. Beat in the flour and the vanilla and blend in the melted white chocolate slowly, beating until the filling is well combined. Pour filling into crust.
Bake in the middle of preheated oven for 1 hour. Then turn off the heat, and crack the oven door an inch, letting the cheesecake cool in the oven to room temperature. Cover loosely and refrigerate overnight before removing from pan.
Make the topping: In a saucepan, combine 1/2 cup sugar and cornstarch. Stir in water and blueberries. Bring to a boil, and then simmer for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Press through a fine sieve. Stir in lemon juice, allow to cool, and then pour over the cheesecake. Store extra in a glass jar.