As hard as I tried, I was not able to use up the 2lbs of blueberries that we picked at the berry farm. I made blueberry crumbs bars, blueberry smoothies, blueberry pancakes, blueberry pie, and now a blueberry-rose swirled lemon cheesecake!! And can you believe I was still left with about 4 cups of beautiful fresh blueberries? I finally put up my white flag - and succumbed to my vacuum sealer. These berries will be protected from freezer burn and ready to use at a later date.
In the meantime, I'll turn my attention to this wonderful Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry-Rose Swirl. I highly recommend making your own graham crackers from scratch for the crust as it really does taste more homemade. I love the whimsical swirl pattern that comes from the syrup and the contrast between the citrus hued cheesecake and rich blueberry color. I don't think i'll ever have an ill word to say against cheesecake..
Lemon Cheesecake + Blueberry-Rose Swirl
One 9" cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust:
-2 cups graham cracker crumbs, store-bought or homemade
-4-6 Tablespoons of butter, melted
-Pinch of salt
Lemon Cheesecake Filling
-1 1/4 cups sugar
-Zest of one lemon
-1/4 cup juice from 1-2 lemons
-1 1/2 pounds (3 8-oz. packages) cream cheese, cut into 1 inch chunks, at room temperature
-4 large eggs, at room temperature
-2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1/4 teaspoon salt
-1/2 cup heavy cream
-2 teaspoons cornstarch
-1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
-1 Tablespoon warm water
-2 cups fresh blueberries
-2 Tablespoons rose simple syrup
Graham Cracker Crust:
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees
- Combine graham cracker crumbs with melted butter and salt. Crumbs should hold together when you press them with your fist, if not, add some more butter.
- Press graham cracker crust into springform pan
- Bake for 10 minutes until crust is dry, allow to cool completely before filling
- Whisk the cornstarch, lemon juice, and warm water together in a small bowl until the cornstarch has dissolved. Set aside.
- Warm the blueberries and rose simple syrup together in a small saucepan over medium heat.
- Stir continuously for 3 minutes until the blueberry juices begin to release. Add the cornstarch mixture and continue to stir for another 2-3 minutes, smashing some blueberries as you go. The mixture will start to thicken.
- Remove from heat and put the mixture through a fine mesh strainer into a small bowl (to separate the cooked berries and the juice). Keep separated and set both (the cooked berries and the juice) aside. The juice you will swirl into the cheese, the berries you will use as a topping once baked.
- Place the oven rack in the lower half of the oven and preheat to 325°F. Double wrap the outside of a 9" springform pan with aluminum foil.
- Place 1/4 cup of the sugar and the lemon zest in a food processor and process until the sugar turns yellow and fragrant. Add in the remaining sugar and pulse a few times to combine.
- In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat the cream cheese for about 5 seconds. With the mixer on low, add in the lemon sugar in a steady stream, then switch to medium and beat until creamy and smooth, about 3 minutes. Scrape down the sides of the bowl.
- Reduce the speed to medium-low and add the eggs, 2 at a time, scraping down the bowl in between additions.
- Add in the lemon juice, vanilla and salt and mix to combine.
- Add in the cream and beat to combine, another 5 seconds. Scrape the bowl again to make sure everything has been incorporated and pour into the springform pan.
- Drop spoonfuls of smooth blueberry-rose syrup over the top and swirl in with a knife
- Place the pan in the oven and carefully add enough water to the roasting pan to make it halfway up the sides of the springform pan.
- Bake until the center is slightly giggly and the sides start to puff and the surface is no longer shiny, about 55 to 60 minutes. Turn off the oven and prop the oven door open with a towel or wooden spoon. Allow the cake to cool in the oven for 1 hour.
- Remove from the roasting pan and transfer to a wire rack. Run a small paring knife around the edges of the cake and let it sit at room temperature for 2 hours.
- Refrigerate cheesecake for 5 hours, but 24 is best before serving. You can put the reserved blueberry topping on top as a garnish
Photos by: Zac Wolf Photography