Monday, 25 October 2010

Blueberry Cheesecake

I'm having friends for dinner tomorrow, and to save myself the strain of doing all the cooking on one day, decided to make the pudding in advance. Recipes for the remainder of the food (and photos) to follow. In the meantime, here's an extremely easy and delicious cheesecake.

You'll need:

Base and sides
125g of butter
1 cup rolled oats
100g wheatmeal biscuits, finely crushed
2 tbsps soft brown sugar

375g light cream cheese (I used Philedelphia)
100g fresh ricotta cheese
1/3 cup caster sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 eggs
Grated rind from one orange 
1 tbsp plain flour

250g fresh blueberries
3/4 cup blackcurrant conserve
1/3 cup cherry brandy

Brush a 20cm round deep srpingform cake tin with oil or butter (I forgot at this stage the instruction to line the base with greaseproof baking paper, but then I'm not perfect, and will just have to get busy with a breadknife when taking it out of the tin tomorrow). Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the oats and biscuit crumbs and mix well. Stir in the sugar. Use half the mixture to spread on the base and use the rest to create sides, using a glass to press it into place, to about 2/3 way up the rim. It might look as if you haven't got quite enough mixture at this point - I debated making some more - but it's enough, honest. Refrigerate for 15 mins whilst the oven is preheating to GM4 (180 degrees c).

Beat the cream cheese, ricotta, sugar and sour cream together (I used the food processor as I don't have electric beaters, and it would be too stiff to do by hand unless palming it off on your nearest and dearest with muscles. Mine was at work). Beat in the eggs, orange rind and flour until smooth. Put the tin on a flat tray to catch any drips, pour the filling into the crust and bake for 40 - 45 mins, until the filling is just set. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the tin. I tasted a tiny bit of the filling at this point and it's lovely - creamy and fresh, sweet but not too sweet.

Carefully place the blueberries individually in decreasing concentric circles (or scatter - depending on what kind of a cheesecake decorator you are) on the top.

Put the jam/conserve in a small pan (the recipe said to sieve this, but I really like the mix of blueberries and black currants this topping is going to make, so I didn't bother... the resulting topping below does look a little less shiny perfect than the version in the book but it'll taste wonderful!) with the brandy.

Stir over medium heat until smooth and then simmer for 2 -3 minutes.

Carefully brush over the blueberries and refrigerate the cheesecake til cold or overnight.

Ta da! The finished product. I'll update tomorrow with the true test of eating it... but it's glistening gently in my fridge as we speak.


  1. Fresh blueberries hard to come by around here these days. Can you use frozen? Also, what with Mike being a recovering alcoholic, the cherry brandy probably not a good idea. Any thoughts on alternatives? (Don't worry about brandy in Christmas cake - he doesn't like it, so all for me. Yum.)

  2. Hello!

    Rather than blueberries, I think this cheesecake is really crying out for cherries. If you can get fresh, then I'd destone them and glaze as I'm about to describe below. If frozen fruit is your only answer, then I'd warm them very gently in a pan with a tablespoon of water and a teaspoon full of sugar.

    Top the filling with the fruit, reserve the juices left in the pan, and in a separate pan, warm up some (several tbsps) of very fruity and appropriate jam. I'd sieve that, add it to the juices you have already and if you have any in (and I wouldn't) add a very little pectin sugar - otherwise leave to simmer for about three minutes.

    By that time, whichever fruit you use will be cooling on the cheesecake, so you can just brush the glaze over the fruit and let it do its thing.

    The other thing to note in the recipe is the quantity of orange rind - you might want to vary it with lime or lemond rind for a slightly fresher taste (although the orange was lovely).

    It's a bit of a bugger on the washing up front but very, very worth it (going back to the fridge for seconds in a minute).

  3. Even less chance of cherries this time of year, so I'm thinking frozen blueberries.

  4. I think I'd use this as a base recipe to adapt throughout the year to whatever you have to hand - and not knowing what's fresh in Gabriola I'm out of luck in recommendations. I think frozen fruit would be fine with a bit of TLC as described above, but if there's something local, fresh and nicer (maybe blackberries with a little bit of stewed apple - although you'd have to put the topping on just as you were about to serve it as otherwise the latter would make everything very soggy) I'd use that instead. However the filling is solid and sweet, so I think it can withstand almost any topping!

  5. The other thing that is worth saying is that I think this would be a better pudding in the same quantities in a smaller dish - say 18 or 16 cms rather than the 22 springform I made it in - this way you get more filling and the base/surround goes further, and you can top the fruit as high as you like.