Thursday, October 8, 2009

Blueberry Cheesecake

Oh. My. Heavens.

Did you ever see that Friends where Rachel and Chandler discover a mail-order cheesecake in their building and accidentally eat it all and then order another and drop it on the ground and end up forking it straight off the floor because it is just that good? Did you, like me, pass the rest of the episode in a haze because you were distractedly wondering how amazing that cheesecake tasted? I mean, how unbelievable must a cake be to achieve eat-off-a-NYC-floor (however fictional) deliciousness?

Well say hello to your answer. This mini cheesecake is worth throwing your friends and family to the ground should they stand between you and it. Toss a few elbows. Wield your fork. It's pillowy soft and disappears on your tongue, except for that impossible richness that makes it cream cheese's best effort to date.
It requires a mini springform pan, which is not really part of everyone's kitchen arsenal, so if presentation is not essential to your enjoyment, you could just make it in a cake pan (with very tall sides), and dig it out one piece at a time. The blueberry topping was my addition, and could be replaced with many other fruits (just follow the same proportions) or maybe even some chocolate. Because this cheesecake is almost as tall as Rachel and Chandler's apartment building, I have a hunch that this downsized recipe could be halved to make an equally satisfying cake at a reduced height (just be sure to shorten the baking time).

Mini Blueberry Cheesecake
c/o Epicurious; makes one 6-in cake; active time about 15 minutes, plus baking and cooling

For Crust:
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
4 Tbsp melted butter
2 Tbsp sugar

For Filling:
16 oz cream cheese; room temp (do NOT try to go low fat here)
3/4 cup sugar
2 Tbsp flour
2 eggs
8 oz sour cream
2 Tbsp milk
2 tsp vanilla

For Topping:
2 cups blueberries
2-3 Tbsp sugar
  1. Preheat oven to 375ยบ. Wrap outside of 6-in springform pan with foil. Mix crust ingredients together in a processor or by hand and press into bottom and 2-inches up sides of prepared pan. Bake about 8 minutes, then take out and set aside to cool. Maintain oven temp.
  2. Meanwhile, beat cream cheese and sugar with an electric mixer until smooth and sugar is dissolved. Add flour and blend, then egg and blend, then sour cream-milk-vanilla and blend. Pour into crust. Place springform into a larger pan and add water to said pan--enough to come 1 inch up sides. Bake until center is just set, edges begin to puff and turn a golden brown, about 50 minutes. Turn off oven and let cake sit undisturbed for another hour. Transfer springform to fridge and chill overnight. (I know it's hard, but believe me, it will be so much better if you wait it out.)
  3. For topping, add berries and sugar to a saucepan over medium heat. Berries will warm and the sugar will cause berries to create juices. Stir periodically until thickened. Spread over top of cake and let dribble down the sides a little. People like that.

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