I remember my very first taste of blueberry cheesecake. It was back in the late 80’s, in my late teens ( do the math and you would pretty much come close to guessing my age) and I was on a food hunt with my best friend. The moment my palate tasted that creamy cheesecake topped with blueberries, instantly it became my favourite dessert back then. As a matter of fact, I loved it so much it was the first dessert I ever whipped up in the kitchen. Cheesecakes, no-bake ones with blueberries in particular ( I love blueberries), would always be one of the two dessert choices when out dining with families or friends for many years. Time went by and I started experimenting with different flavours and ventured into baked cheesecakes. I got into baking a lot and as I got more adventurous with my creations, the idea of a no-bake cheesecake became less exciting for me as far as making desserts is concerned. That was until a couple of days ago.
I had some frozen blueberries in the freezer. I usually have them because I love making blueberry pancakes on most weekends for brunch. I was experimenting on another dessert recipe with lemons, which are in season, therefore at their best not to mention cheap. I was getting nowhere near the lemon dessert I was trying to make so I thought, I would give myself a break and make something else. Lemon and blueberries is a classic combination. Seriously, the no-bake cheesecake was not on my list to make that day but as I was at the supermarket grabbing some thickened cream and butter, the cream cheese blocks caught my eyes. Cheesecake. And just like that, the memories of my first blueberry cheesecake came to mind. This time though, I gave it a bit of twist by adding fresh lemon juice and zest. Lemon zest is optional. Have a taste of the cream cheese mixture after adding the lemon juice. Add the zest if you like it a bit more citrusy.
- 500 g cream cheese, softened
- 300 ml thickened cream, softly whipped
- 3 teaspoons gelatin powder
- 1/4 cup hot water
- juice of 4 large lemons
- 2 teaspoons lemon zest, optional
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 3/4 cups caster sugar
- 1 1/2 cups crushed biscuits ( Graham Crackers or plain sweet biscuits)
- 80 g butter, melted
- In a bowl, combine well the crushed biscuits and melted butter. Press mixture onto the base of a greased and lined 20cm round springform cake pan. Chill in the refrigerator.
- Dissolve gelatine powder in 1/4 cup hot water. Set aside to cool for 5 minutes.
- If using frozen blueberries, microwave them for 2-3 minutes on high or until soft enough. Mash with a fork. It’s ok if there are still lumpy bits. If using fresh ones, add just enough water to soften them a bit before mashing. Set aside until required.
- In a large mixing bowl, beat together with an electric mixer the sugar and cream cheese until smooth. Add juice and gelatine. Beat until well combined.
- Fold whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture.
- Gently fold blueberries and lemon zest (if using) into the mixture.
- Pour mixture into prepared pan.
- Chill in the refrigerator for three hours or until set.
I promise you, this is worth the long wait. Light yet very creamy and deliciously good!