Monday, September 12, 2011

One last, summer dessert.

With Labor Day here and gone, it really does feel like summer is at an end.  The school year is in full swing and autumn is fast approaching.  But I wanted to make one last summer time dessert for our Labor Day dinner with the family and I had a ton of lemons sitting in my fridge.  Lemons definitely speak summer to me so I tried to come up with a recipe where I could use them all.  (I am not kidding, I had like nine lemons.  I am a compulsive lemon buyer.  I always think I don't have any and then I look in the drawer and there's four staring me in the face.  Laughing at me.)  I hadn't made a cheesecake in a while so the thought of a lemon cheesecake came naturally.  But I needed a fruit topping to complement the lemon.  Voila.  The blueberry topping idea was formed.  So. good.

 Here's what you'll need to make this yummy treat.   (And I don't think you have to make it just in the summer time.  Cheesecake is good any time of year.  Especially for breakfast when you want something more than ice cream that takes no time at all.

You're going to need:
For the cheesecake:
-16 oz. of cream cheese (lowfat or regular, it doesn't matter)
-2 eggs
-vanilla extract
-2 lemons
-pre-made graham cracker crust (I find it's just as good as homemade and less work.  Double yes.)

For the blueberry topping:
-8 oz of blueberries (about 1/2 package)
-1/3 cup water
-2 tbs. of sugar (more or less depending on how sweet the berries already are)

Plus more blueberries to sprinkle over topping and a lemon for zest on top.

To start you mix the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla and juice of 2 lemons.  You can add more or less lemon juice based on how lemony you want the flavor of the cheesecake to be.  I found that 2 wasn't enough for me so I would add more next time.   However, I wouldn't go too crazy or the filling will be runny and will take a lot longer to bake.


By the way, don't forget the vanilla extract.  I almost did and it would have been bad news bears.  So you pour this delicious filling into the pre-made crust and pop it into the oven at 325 degrees for about 40 minutes.  (Cook time varies based on your oven.)

I dare you to try to not gobble up the filling as is.  (Don't actually take my dare.  There is the possibility you will get salmonella from raw eggs and I have no money to settle in a law suit.)

While the cheesecake is baking, you can make the topping.  It's super easy and way better than the pre-made stuff.  Who would have thought I would prefer making it to buying it?  I feel like it's my way of justifying the already made crust.  Don't judge me.

So.  Take your fresh end of the summer blueberries and mix them with the water and sugar at a high boil.  Like I said earlier, you can add as much or as little sugar as you want depending on how sweet your berries are.  Just let it sit until the husks of the blueberries start to come off and everything reduces down to a thick mixture like so.

Once everything has really started to boil down, you can mash the blueberries so they form a thick syrup.

Then you wait for the cheesecake to cool and pour the mixture on top.  I like to serve my cheesecake cold so I chilled it in the fridge for a few hours.  You can heat up the mixture to put on top or chill it with the cheesecake.  I also would recommend sprinkling a few fresh blueberries on top and zesting some lemon over the whole thing to make it look pretty.

Now here's the thing with this recipe y'all.  I don't actually have a picture of the finished product... Before I got the chance to take a final picture, it was all cut up and served.  Can't wait to move into my own place.  So here's a lovely picture of Martha Stewart's instead.

I mean essentially this is what mine looked like...cough, cough.  Hopefully your cheesecake ends up looking as pretty as hers because lord knows mine certainly didn't.  It was extremely delicious though, so that definitely makes up for it.  Now I just have to figure out what to do with the last six lemons sitting in the it too late for lemonade?

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