Every time I cross to the U.S. by car, I always have my shopping list ready. I like to check out the outlet stores, but what’s even more exciting for me is going grocery shopping! Many Canadians like going shopping in the States because they have a better selection of everything, it seems, and much, much better prices. (Unfortunately though, for those of us looking for deals, our dollar has weakened quite a bit recently against the US$, so cross-border shopping is less attractive these days. But even so, I’m sure there are still bargains to be found).
I find dairy products, in particular, much cheaper in the States. So I always like to buy a lot of cheeses. I mean, when prices are 30% – 50% less, I don’t think too much about what I buy! I also like to buy cream cheese. It’s always handy to have a few bricks of cream cheese lying around, since they can keep for a few months unopened in your fridge. You can use cream cheese for savoury dishes (dips, pastas, casseroles) or for desserts, including cakes, frostings and of course, cheesecakes.
I couldn’t remember the last time I made a traditional cheesecake. All I know is that in the last couple of years, I’ve made quite a few Japanese cheesecakes, which is a much lighter version, with a texture more similar to sponge cake. Anyway, this time I decided to make a classic cheesecake. Unlike some cheesecakes, which are on the firmer, drier side, this one is especially good because it’s got a deliciously smooth and creamy consistency…just the way I like it 🙂
(Adpated from Food Network – Tyler’s Ultimate)
CHEESECAKE WITH LEMON BLUEBERRY TOPPING (Serves 6 – 8)
2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick (113 grams) unsalted butter, melted
2 (8 oz./250 grams) blocks of cream cheese, softened
1 cup sugar
475 mL sour cream
1 lemon, zested
1 dash vanilla extract
Lemon Blueberry Topping:
340 grams fresh blueberries
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
For the Crust:
In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray.
Pour the crumbs into the pan and, using the bottom of a measuring cup or the smooth bottom of a glass, press the crumbs down into the base and 1-inch up the sides. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add sour cream, lemon zest, and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 45 minutes. The cheesecake should still jiggle (it will firm up after chilling), so be careful not to overcook. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Chill in the refrigerator, loosely covered, for at least 4 hours. Loosen the cheesecake from the sides of the pan by running a thin metal spatula around the inside rim. Unmold and transfer to a cake plate. Using a spatula spread a layer of Lemon Blueberry topping over the surface.
Slice the cheesecake with a thin, non-serrated knife that has been dipped in hot water. Wipe dry after each cut.
For the Topping:
In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on cheesecake.