I have found myself in something of a haze again recently, unable to structure coherent thoughts, let alone articulate them, although an enormous amount has been happening in various aspects of my life, including returning to work today for the first time in a quarter of a year – a significant milestone on the road to recovery, although the horizon of normality remains far ahead. I have withdrawn from most interaction not because I don’t wish to connect with others, but because I haven’t been clear enough within myself what it is I wish to communicate. I believe that this is simply another passing phase, and that it will not be long in the going, but in the interim I will share something delightful, simple and delicious – a recipe for a baked blueberry cheesecake. Please note, for those of you that mentioned (following my post about blueberry pancakes) that you don’t have easy access to blueberries, that they can be replaced with raspberries or mixed berries.
Baked Blueberry Cheesecake
Note: a zesty note can be added by a few drops of lemon oil and / or some finely grated lemon zest.
Preparation time: 30 mins plus resting & chilling. Cooking time: 1 hour.
100g (3 ½ oz) digestive biscuits
50g (2 oz) unsalted butter
100g (3 ½ oz) gingernut biscuits
25g (1 oz) cornflour
200g (7oz) caster sugar
600g (1lb 5oz) cream cheese
1 vanilla pod, split
300ml (10fl oz) soured cream
85g (3oz) caster sugar
50ml (2fl oz) water
400g (14 oz) fresh blueberries
1. Preheat the oven to 180 C (fan 160) / 350F / gas mark 4. Line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with baking paper.
2. Base: Crush the biscuits into crumbs by whizzing in a food processor, or put in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin, then transfer to a bowl. Melt the butter and stir into the biscuits. Press into the base of the prepared cake tin, using the back of a spoon to gently push the crumbs from the centre outwards, until the base is smooth and level. Bake for 10 mins, then leave to cool.
3. Filling: Mix together the cornflour and sugar in a large bowl. Beat in the cream cheese, and seeds from the vanilla pod (these are easiest to scrape out with the tip of a small, sharp knife), then the eggs. Finally, stir in the soured cream. Pour into the cake tin, and level the top with a knife. Bake for 10 mins, then reduce the temperature to 140C (fan 120C)/ 275F / gas mark 1, and bake for another 35 – 45 mins until there is still a slight wobble to the centre. Switch off the oven, keep the door closed for 2 hours, then chill the cheesecake well.
4. Topping: place the sugar in a saucepan, add the water and bring to the boil. When the sugar has dissolved, add the blueberries. Cover and cook for a few minutes, then cool.
5. Loosen the edge of the cheesecake, removed the tin and lining paper, then transfer to a serving plate. Spoon the blueberries over the cheesecake just before serving.