I made this lemon blueberry cheesecake a few weeks ago and have been wanting to post it realllllly badly since then because cheesecake = delicious, but things have been really hectic here. This past weekend was my and Carey’s Cape Cod First We Eat workshop, so I flew in to Burlington (where Carey lives) a few days before and we made a stop at Vermont Creamery to eat cheese and see baby goats (OMGGGG (will talk more about the wonder that is baby goats, along with lots of pictures, in another post)) before driving over to Massachusetts and shooting, cooking, styling, and eating over the long weekend. I always think I can do more during workshops then I end up being able to, and completely thought I’d be able to get this up while I was out of town, but with my hands covered in homemade ricotta (amongst so many other cheeses) and between all the photo activities, it wasn’t able to happen. Then once Carey and I were heading back up to Vermont, I thought I’d be able to work on it in the car, but I got a call from our mail man saying he was delivering our chicks. My mom was going to be at my house all day to be there when they came, the only window of time she was busy was for an appointment she’d set a while ago, and of course that’s when the chicks arrived. So I, of course, promptly freaked out about the chicks just being in a box in the mudroom and my brain started imagining all the terrible things that could happen to them in there. A draft from the window making them too cold, a dexterous neighborhood cat learning to open the door and ripping open the box, the sun beating down on the room and making them too hot, them pecking each other to death, and so on. And with the mailman making me nervous by saying things like “they probably need water” and me replying “I KNOW.” while being 3,000 miles away, it was just buoying the existing anxiety that was already coursing through my veins. In the end, Jeremy just took an early lunch break from work and got them settled in the little brooder we’d made for them and they were fine. But I had been so anxious about it that my brain just wasn’t in a place to write. So. Now that I am finally back home surrounded by the familiar (+ some new chickies!) and back where I belong, I am going to share this delicious, sweet, and creamy recipe with you. Also, thanks for sticking with me through that long-winded, winding paragraph.
I’d been thinking about making cheesecake ever since the cheese episode of our podcast, and after lots of daydreaming about various combinations of cakes + cheese, I decided I wanted to make a layered cheesecake that had a colorful stripe in the center. Since blueberries go incredibly well with all sorts of cheese and cream, I used a combination of freeze dried blueberries that I’d ground to a dust in my blender and fresh crushed blueberries to make the vibrant center stripe. The rest of the cheesecake was flavored with a little lemon zest and juice, and I used mascarpone, cream cheese, and sour cream for the creamy cheesy base.
I really wanted to avoid getting a cheesecake crack with this recipe, so I followed all the tips I could find online. I took care not to over mix it, I tapped the pan on the counter as I added the layers to help pop any air bubbles, I baked it in a bain marie (having water in a dish in the oven to help keep it moist), I turned the oven off and left it there to cool for 2 hours. When I took it out of the oven, I set it on a wire rack and put an upside down bowl on top of it to keep it cooling slowly. But still, the crack happened. I got some tips from my instagram friends afterwards, and I think that if I had left it in the oven with the door closed rather than cracking the door open, it might have been better because even having the oven door open just a little may have made it cool too quickly. But, if you don’t care about the crack, that’s fine. And if you get a crack on it, just dump a bunch of berries on it like I did. No one will ever know! Plus it looks really pretty, and is the easiest garnish ever. Enjoy!
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
- 2 8 ounce packages cream cheese, softened
- 16 ounces mascarpone softened
- 3 large eggs
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1.2 ounces freeze dried blueberries ground to a powder with a blender or food processor
- 2 ounces fresh blueberries mashed with a fork
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon finely grated lemon zest
- 1 cup fresh blueberries optional garnish
Graham Cracker Crust
- 2 cups graham cracker crumbs
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon cloves
- 1/4 teaspoon allspice
- 1/4 teaspoon ground dried ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons unsalted butter melted
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
- First prepare the graham cracker crust. In a medium bowl, mix together the graham cracker cubs, cinnamon, cloves, allspice, ginger, and salt until combined. Add the butter and vanilla extract and pinch the mixture together with your fingertips until a crumbly cane-like mixture forms. Empty this into the bottom of a well-greased 8-inch springform cake pan and press it into the bottom of the pan in an even layer, forming a crust. Set aside.
- For the cheesecake, preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit and place a casserole dish 2/3 full of water in the lowest rack of the oven. In the bowl of stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat together the cream cheese and mascarpone at medium high speed until smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, mixing until incorporated. Add the sour cream, sugar, vanilla extract, and salt and mix until just combined.
- Measure out 1 2/3 cups of the filling and set it in a medium bowl. Stir the powdered freeze dried blueberries and mashed blueberries into the filling in the medium bowl, mixing until just incorporated and taking care not to over mix. Set aside.
- Add the lemon juice and zest to the mixture in the stand mixture and beat at low speed until combined.
- Pour half of the lemon cheesecake into the prepared pan. Tap the pan firmly on the counter to help pop any air bubbles and flatten the surface. Pour the blueberry cheesecake on top, moving the bowl around the pan as you pour from it to keep it in a nice even layer. Use a spatula to spread the mixture to the edges and even it out, if necessary. Tap the pan firmly on the counter to help pop any air bubbles and flatten the surface. Pour the remaining lemon cheesecake over the top, once again moving the bowl around the pan as you pour from it to keep it in a nice even layer. Use a spatula to spread the mixture to the edges and even it out, if necessary. Tap the pan firmly on the counter to help pop any air bubbles and flatten the surface.
- Place the pan in the center rack of the oven and bake until the edges are set but the center is still wobbly, about 45 to 55 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow the cheesecake to cool for 2 hours in the oven. Remove from the oven and place the pan on a wire cooling rack, then place a large stainless steel mixing bowl upside down on top of it to help trap moisture and allow it to continue cooling slowly. Once it has completely cooled, cover and refrigerate it for at least 3 hours.
- Before unlatching the sides of the springform pan, dip a butter knife in boiling water and run it along the edge of the pan to help loosen the cheesecake. Garnish with the fresh blueberries and serve immediately.