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27 April 2009

Daring Baker - Cheesecake

The April 2009 challenge is hosted by Jenny from Jenny Bakes. She has chosen Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake as the challenge.

As this challenged gave us the freedom to pick out flavors, I decided to go light for spring. I have made cheesecake before so this challenge was not overwhelming. I could have made it more difficult by choosing more layers, but the garden was calling this month so I went simple. I made a lemon cheesecake on a graham cracker crust with blueberry glaze. I used the crust recipe from Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake and then made a few alterations to the cheesecake recipe. I included the original recipe with my alterations below.

The results: the cheesecake was very light tasting, but not quite enough of a lemon flavor. The blueberry glaze was tasty, but next time I'd make a bit more glaze as I had more blueberries than glaze. Overall, a successful challenge. Thanks to Jenny from Jenny Bakes!

Abbey's Infamous Cheesecake:
2 cups / 180 g graham cracker crumbs
1 stick / 4 oz butter, melted
2 tbsp. / 24 g sugar
1 tsp. vanilla extract
3 sticks of cream cheese, 8 oz each (total of 24 oz) room temperature
1 cup / 210 g sugar
3 large eggs
1 cup / 8 oz heavy cream
1 tbsp. lemon juice (2 tbsp of lemon juice for mine)
1 tbsp. vanilla extract (or the innards of a vanilla bean)
1 tbsp liqueur, optional, but choose what will work well with your cheesecake (a tbsp of grated lemon peel)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (Gas Mark 4 = 180C = Moderate heat). Begin to boil a large pot of water for the water bath.
2. Mix together the crust ingredients and press into your preferred pan. You can press the crust just into the bottom, or up the sides of the pan too - baker's choice. Set crust aside.
3. Combine cream cheese and sugar in the bowl of a stand-mixer (or in a large bowl if using a hand-mixer) and cream together until smooth. Add eggs, one at a time, fully incorporating each before adding the next. Make sure to scrape down the bowl in between each egg. Add heavy cream, vanilla, lemon juice, and alcohol and blend until smooth and creamy.
4. Pour batter into prepared crust and tap the pan on the counter a few times to bring all air bubbles to the surface. Place pan into a larger pan and pour boiling water into the larger pan until halfway up the side of the cheesecake pan. If cheesecake pan is not airtight, cover bottom securely with foil before adding water.
5. Bake 45 to 55 minutes, until it is almost done - this can be hard to judge, but you're looking for the cake to hold together, but still have a lot of jiggle to it in the center. You don't want it to be completely firm at this stage. Close the oven door, turn the heat off, and let rest in the cooling oven for one hour. This lets the cake finish cooking and cool down gently enough so that it won't crack on the top. After one hour, remove cheesecake from oven and lift carefully out of water bath. Let it finish cooling on the counter, and then cover and put in the fridge to chill. Once fully chilled, it is ready to serve.
Pan note: The creator of this recipe used to use a springform pan, but no matter how well she wrapped the thing in tin foil, water would always seep in and make the crust soggy. Now she uses one of those 1-use foil "casserole" shaped pans from the grocery store. They're 8 or 9 inches wide and really deep, and best of all, water-tight. When it comes time to serve, just cut the foil away.
Prep notes: While the actual making of this cheesecake is a minimal time commitment, it does need to bake for almost an hour, cool in the oven for an hour, and chill overnight before it is served. Please plan accordingly!
I did not use the water bath and my cake did crack after only 45 minutes of baking, but I covered it with the glaze.
Blueberry Glaze
1 bag of frozen blueberries
1/2 cup of water (next time I'd use more)
1 tbsp of sugar (approx.)
2 tbsp of cornstarch (approx.)
1. Pour water over berries as they defrost and allow to sit for 30 minutes.
2. Drain berries, keeping 1/2 cup of liquid.
3. Mix sugar and cornstarch in saucepan and add reserved liquid. Bring to a boil over medium heat for about a minute.
4. Remove from heat and allow to cool. As cooling, stir in almost the entire package of defrosted blueberries.
5. Once cool, pour over cheesecake and allow to sit in refrigerator for at least six hours.
6. Remove from spring pan once completely cool.


Candice said...

Yum, blueberry cheesecake is one of my favorites! Good choice. :)

Anonymous said...

Looks beautiful! Great job.

Sara said...

Sounds amazing! I love lemon and blueberries together...one of my favorite combinations. :)

Claire said...

Great choice of flavors! I love blueberry and lemon.

Jude said...

Was thinking of either blueberries or strawberries for this challenge. Maybe I should've gone with blueberries :)

Memoria said...

I've been in the mood for blueberries ever since I made muffins for my friend. So, these look extra yummy!!

Dragon said...

What a gorgeous cheesecake! Great job on this month's challenge.

Anonymous said...

Lemon and blueberries are made for eachother, and you did a great job getting them together in your lovely cheesecake! Nicely done!

MeetaK said...

a classic with the blueberries looks great!

Laura said...

Yum! Your cheesecake looks delicious, I was going to try a blueberry one too but I ran out of cheesecakelets! I wish I had now!

LegalAlien said...

Very inviting! Good job!

wütende Bäckerfrau said...

Whoa, looks awesome! I love blueberry and lemon together. Congrats!

Chantal said...


Expat Traveler said...

I think I'm foaming/drooling at the mouth here... That looks incredible. We had some while in Cali but I should have tried once more to get some like that!

Jenny said...

This looks so perfect for spring! I love lemon and blueberry together, and any citrus with this cheesecake is amazing.

Jenny of JennyBakes