January 26, 2009

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce

The first time I tried to make cheesecake must've been when I was 16 or 17.  It was such a total and utter disaster that I didn't even contemplate making one until my aunt requested one two weeks ago.

You see, I thought I could get by without using a mixer.  Rookie mistake!  It was impossible to achieve a smooth batter by hand, and the resulting mixture had blobs of cream cheese floating in raw eggs.  I still baked it, and what crawled out of the oven tasted nothing like cheesecake.

I'm happy to say that my second attempt was much more successful.  The Meyer lemons are sweeter than regular lemons, and they complement the blueberry sauce very well.

Meyer Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce

1 cup finely ground graham crackers
1/8 cup sugar
1/4 cup butter, melted

2 lbs. cream cheese
1 cup sugar
3 eggs
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
2-1/2 tablespoons Meyer lemon juice
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Blueberry Sauce:
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon juice
3 teaspoons cornstarch in 1 tablespoon water

Preheat the oven to 350F.

Mix the graham crackers and sugar, then stir in the melted butter.  Press the mixture evenly onto the bottom of an 8- or 9-inch cake or springform pan.  (I made this with an ordinary cake pan, and other than the first couple of slices, the others came out perfectly.)

Bake the crust for 10 minutes or until golden brown.  Allow to cool.

With an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.  Add in the sugar until incorporated, and then beat in the eggs one at a time.  Mix in the zest, juice, and vanilla extract.  Pour the batter over the crust.

Cover the top of the cheesecake loosely with foil to prevent brown spots.  (If using a springform pan, encase the entire pan in foil.)  Set the cheesecake pan into a roasting pan and fill the latter up with water until in reaches halfway up the cheesecake pan.

Bake at 350F for 1-1/2 hours or until the cake is set.  Remove the cake from the roasting pan and allow to cool on a wire rack.  Chill overnight or for at least 6 hours in the fridge.

Blueberry Sauce:
In a small saucepan over medium heat, add the berries, sugar, and lemon juice and mix.  Keep on stirring until the berries start to release their juices.

In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and water.  Add to the berry mixture and stir until the sauce thickens.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.  Chill in fridge.

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