Blueberry Cheesecake

It`s almost berry season and I`m completely excited! Many of my family and friends love berries in their dessert, so I`m going to love the opportunity to surprise them with berry desserts in the coming months! Maybe it`s because I live in California, but I actually bake with blueberries all year around. I believe it`s a myth that frozen fruits and vegetables are bad for you. They are almost the same, nutrient-wise.

Anyhoo, one of my “baby” cousins turned 15 years old recently so I asked him what he wanted me to bake for this special occassion. His request was blueberry cheesecake! Before I continue onto this wonderful cheesecake, I must add that I used to watch this kid play Legos when he was 7. Heck, I even played along with him and his brother! Now, he`s in high school and I`m applying to graduate school. We can`t stop growing older, huh? Where are you, Peter Pan?!!

Okay, back to this beautiful cheesecake. As I have mentioned before, we are all blueberry lovers here. I also believe most of the world are as well. Yet, when you search for a good blueberry cheesecake recipe, they`re usually just a plain cheesecake with either fresh blueberries or a blueberry sauce on top. That`s hardly a blueberry cheesecake, people. I`ve seen some recipes with a blueberry swirl but, as pretty as they look, I still want more of that blueberry flavor.

A chocolate cheesecake, is really a chocolate flavored cheesecake. Not, a plain cheesecake with a chocolate drizzle. I assume the lack of a blueberry cheesecake recipes comes from the fact that incorporating berries would add more liquid into the, otherwise, thick, cheesecake batter? I`m not trying to sound like a cheesecake snob, but I just want more blueberries in my life, you know? 🙂

One of my favorite cheesecake recipes I`ve bake was this 2 layer lemon blueberry cheesecake pie. It`s a dream. So, I did something very similar for this as well. There are two layers, a blueberry layer and a regular cheesecake layer. All on top a Oreo crust, because Oreo crusts are always the way to go. Of course, you may use graham crackers or even Biscoff cookies!!

Be warned, this cheesecake is not super decadent or heavy, like those cheesecakes you get from The Cheesecake Factory. However, that does not make it any less amazing. It`s berrilicious and perfect to match the warm weather! (Although, totally not bikini-friendly. But, hey, we are not here to judge. We are here to eat! With, moderation.)

This cheesecake is also a no-fuss one. No water bath or springform pan needed. Just a good ol’ round 9 inch pan. The edges might crack a little, but it will still be beautiful! Top with some blueberry sauce or fresh blueberries and you`re good to go!

Blueberry Cheesecake
Adapted: Joy the Baker + iVillage | Yields: 1- 9 inch Cake| Level: Medium| Total Time:  2 hours + overnight chill | Print
Berry Mixture:
          8 oz frozen blueberries
          ¾ teaspoons lemon juice
          2 cups Oreo cookie crumbs
          2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
          1 lb cream cheese, room temperature
          1 1/4 cup granulated sugar
          1/2 teaspoon salt
          1 teaspoon all purpose flour
          2 teaspoons vanilla extract
          2 large eggs, room temperature
          1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons heavy cream
          little bit of lemon zest
          2 tablespoons berry mixture
          ¼ cup fresh blueberries + more for topping
1.       Preheat oven to 350°F. Line and grease bottom and sides of nonstick 9 inch round pan.
Berry Mixture:
2.       Set a strainer of a bowl. Mash the frozen blueberries over the bowl to get as much juice as you can. (Aim for ½ cup.)
3.       In a small saucepan, boil the juice from the berries until juice has reduced to a few tablespoons (estimate). Remove from heat.
4.       In a food processor, pulse the reduced berry mixture with the reserved mashed berries until blended. Set aside.
5.       In a small-medium bowl, mix Oreo crumbs with melted butter until crumbs are coated with butter.
6.       Press crumbs onto the bottom and sides of pan and bake for 5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool.
7.       Reduce oven temperature to 325°F.
Cheesecake filling:
8.       In a large bowl with electric mixer, beat together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy (about 3 minutes on low-medium speed).
9.       Add salt, flour, and vanilla extract and beat until incorporated.
10.   Add the eggs, beating after each addition.
11.   When mixture is smooth, add in the heavy cream and beat slowly at first.
12.   When cream is more incorporated, increase the speed to medium. Beat until mixture is creamy.
13.   Divide batter into two bowls.
14.   Fold in berry mixture and half of the fresh blueberries to one of the bowls and mix until combined. (This will be your berry cheesecake filling.)
15.   Pour the berry cheesecake filling (with real blueberries too!) over crust and bake for 10 minutes.
16.   Remove from oven and sprinkle the rest of the blueberries on top of blueberry cheesecake layer.
17.   Pour the other cheesecake filling on top.
18.   Bake for about 40-50 minutes, or until middle is set and jiggles, but not liquid.*
19.   Allow cheesecake to cool at room temperature before chilling completely overnight.  
          At 40-45 min, I checked to make sure the middle was set. I turned off oven, but left cheesecake inside for about 30 minutes before removing to cool at room temperature.
          After I turned off the oven, I ran a knife around the edges to loosen the cheesecake from the sides (this prevents cracking during the cooling process), before I returned the cheesecake back to the turned-off oven.