A simple birthday dessert for my dad, who turned the big 60 on Monday!
Cheesecake is one of my dad's favorites and the obvious choice for his birthday. I adapted the recipe from Tyler Florence's Ultimate Chessecake and it was amazing! The cheesecake isn't too heavy, and has lemon and orange zest in it, making it brighter than a traditional cheesecake. The blueberry topping adds a little more tartness and another layer of flavor. I made the cheesecake the night before, let it refrigerate overnight and made the blueberry topping the day of.
Cheesecake & Blueberry Topping
adapted from Tyler Florence's 'Ultimate Cheesecake'
2 cups finely ground graham crackers (about 30 squares)
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 stick unsalted butter, melted
1 pound cream cheese, 2 (8-ounce) blocks, softened (I used 1 block 1/3 fat, and one regular)
1 cup sugar
1 pint sour cream
1 lemon, zested
1/2 orange, zested
1 dash vanilla extract
1 pint blueberries
1 lemon, zested and juiced
2 tablespoons sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
In a mixing bowl, combine the ingredients with a fork until evenly moistened. Lightly coat the bottom and sides of an 8-inch springform pan with non-stick cooking spray. (I used a 10-inch springform pan and this was plenty)
Pour the crumbs into the pan press the crumbs down into the base and up the sides. Refrigerate until the filling is ready.
For the Filling:
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese on low speed for 1 minute until smooth and free of any lumps. Add the eggs, 1 at a time, and continue to beat slowly until combined. Gradually add sugar and beat until creamy, for 1 to 2 minutes.
Add sour cream, lemon zest, orange zest and vanilla. Periodically scrape down the sides of the bowl and the beaters. The batter should be well-mixed but not overbeaten. Pour the filling into the crust-lined pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
Set the cheesecake pan on a large piece of aluminum foil and fold up the sides around it. Place the cake pan in a large roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan; the foil will keep the water from seeping into the cheesecake. Bake for 50 minutes. The cheesecake might jiggle a little, but will firm up once chilled. Let cool in pan for 30 minutes. Cover and chill in the refrigerator, until ready to serve (at least 4 hours, I chilled mine overnight).
For the Topping:
In a small saucepan add all the ingredients and simmer over medium heat for 5 minutes or so until the fruit begins to break down slightly. Leave to cool before spreading on cheesecake.
Once you're ready to serve, run a knife along the edge of the pan and unmold, transferring to your cake plate or server. Pour the blueberry topping over the cheesecake and enjoy!