This blueberry cheesecake is one of my favorite summer desserts.. It’s a cold, refreshing, tangy, and not too sweet. Plus it incorporates the best summer berry: blueberries.
I’m obsessed with all things blueberry. Muffins, cake, pie, you name it. It’s such a versatile berry. This year we went blueberry picking again and managed to pick another 10 pounds. Every year we decide we need to take it easy, then we just go crazy. So into the freezer they go, and I sit down with my recipes to decide which one to bake first.
The most important thing to keep in mind is let your ingredients come to room temperature. Set your cream cheese, eggs, and sour cream on the counter for 30 minutes before you start baking. I recommend even unwrapping your cream cheese so it gets more airflow and softens properly. Room temperature ingredients will mix better and more evenly. Try whisking an egg straight from the fridge versus an egg that’s been sitting out for 30 minutes. You will notice a difference.
Softened ingredients also ensure that the filling doesn’t get overwhipped. If you have stiff, cold ingredients your mixer will have a hard time beating them. Because of this, you’ll only be able to beat them at a higher speed. This will cause the filling to have more air.
Baking in a bain marie
The other secret behind a great cheesecake is using a bain marie, or water bath. The cheesecake will bake in a 9″ springform pan. Then that pan gets put into a giant roasting pan filled with boiling water. The moisture will help the cheesecake bake more evenly and prevent the top from cracking. In order to protect the cheesecake, you’ll need to cover the outside of your springform pan with aluminum foil. The normal sized sheets won’t work. You’ll want the extra large sheets for this one.
Another measure of defense for a non-cracked cheesecake is to leave the cheesecake in the oven after it’s finished baking. You’ll turn off the oven and crack open the door slightly. This prevents any sudden temperature changes.
If you don’t have a roasting pan, you can fill a large baking dish with boiling water and place it on the rack below the cheesecake. I haven’t tried this and I’m not sure if it works just as well, but better than nothing when you just gotta have some cheesecake!
I just can’t resist this cheesecake!
- 1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 11 graham cracker sheets)
- 3 tablespoons sugar
- 5 tablespoons butter, melted
- 4 8-oz bricks cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 cup granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
- 4 large eggs, at room temperature
- 2 cups blueberries*
- 1/4 cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 teaspoons cornstarch
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Using a food processor, crush the graham crackers until they are crumbs. Alternatively you can put the crackers in a bag and use a rolling pin to crush them. Add the sugar and process a few more times to combine. Then add the melted butter and process until combined. Press the crumbs firmly on the bottom and sides of a 9” springform pan. I like to use the back of a measuring cup to get it packed. Bake for 10 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside.
- Boil a large pot of water. Set aside a roasting pan.
- In a stand mixer on medium-low speed, beat the cream cheese until smooth. Add the sour cream, sugar, and vanilla and beat until combined. Add the eggs one at a time, beating until combined between each addition.
- Using a large piece of aluminum foil, wrap the springform pan. Pour the cheesecake filling into the pan. Tap against the counter a few times to break any air bubbles. Smooth the top and place in the roasting pan.
- Fill the roasting pan with boiling water and place in oven (you can also place the roasting pan in the oven and then fill it with water with the oven rack pulled out).
- Bake for 60-75 minutes, or until the edges of the cheesecake are set and the center is only slightly jiggly. Do not over bake.
- Turn off the oven and crack open the door. Let the cheesecake sit in the cooling oven for one hour. Remove and let cool on a wire rack for two hours. Continue cooling in the fridge for at least 5 hours, or overnight.
- Once the cheesecake is in the fridge, you can start preparing the blueberry sauce.
- Combine blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a sauce pan on medium-low heat.* When the sugar is melted, increase heat to medium. Stir often until the mixture starts to boil gently. In a small bowl, whisk together water and cornstarch. Add mixture to saucepan, and bring to a boil again if it died down. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for about 5 minutes.
- Remove from heat and let cool for 10 minutes. Pour it on top of the cheesecake and let it set for the remainder of the time the cheesecake needs to sit in the fridge.
- When the cheesecake is set, run a knife along the edge. Release the spring form pan. Run a knife under hot water, wipe dry. This will allow you to cut the cheesecake into clean slices.
- Blueberries: You may use fresh or frozen blueberries. If frozen, no need to thaw. Adjust the sugar depending on your taste.
- Simmering time: If I’m using frozen blueberries, I like to add those to the pot first and let the heat of the pan thaw them slightly. I add the sugar after about 3 minutes.