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Blueberries are delicious on their own but even better floating in a bowl of cream and sugar. There’s something about the tart nip of blueberries and the velvety way that cream coats the mouth that make the perfect gustatory marriage. Blueberry cheesecake is the best of both worlds and more. There are a number of ways blueberries can complement cheesecake, from layering the top to being integrated into the body of the cheesecake itself.
Cheesecake connoisseurs are pretty much evenly divided between two camps. There are those who prefer traditional cheesecake with a layer of sour cream on the top and those who like their cheesecake less creamy and more cake-like, which is New York style. The easiest way to introduce blueberries to either type of cheesecake is with a topping.
Blueberry topping is best when made with fresh or frozen blueberries, although if time is short, blueberry jam serves in a pinch. Fresh topping requires only blueberries, sugar, and butter in addition to a little cornstarch to add body and perhaps a squeeze or two of lemon to brighten up the flavors. This sauce, ladled over a slice of cheesecake, adds a delicious, dark-blue dimension.
Another method for creating blueberry cheesecake is to cook down a sauce to a thick, yummy glaze. This type of topping is thicker and sweeter as it contains more sugar and more cornstarch. Once it’s been spooned over the cheesecake and chilled, it firms to a jam-like consistency that complements the creamy cheesecake nicely.
Those who prefer old-fashioned cheesecake made with a thicker, creamy layer topped with a second layer of sour cream can incorporate blueberries into the sour cream topping. After mixing washed, fresh blueberries with a little sugar, they should be gently stirred into the sour cream mixture and poured atop the cheesecake. During baking, the blueberries break down somewhat and infuse the entire sour cream layer with the tart sweetness of the berries.
Yet another means by which the clever cook can create blueberry cheesecake is by adding fresh or frozen blueberries to the cake itself. Some cooks prefer to swirl blueberry puree into the cream cheese, egg, and sugar batter for an even, creamy, and suffused blueberry flavor. Others prefer using fresh or frozen berries for the tart burst of flavor biting into a single berry provides.
Blueberry cheesecake doesn’t need to be limited to just the berries for a boost of flavor. Lemon zest adds to the appeal by introducing a bright note. A little grated ginger is another yummy possibility.
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