Blueberry & Lime Baked Cheesecake
It happened like this: all day I had been thinking about what I could bake during my glorious two days of spontaneous time off. I had more or less settled on a layer cake, maybe six inches or so, stacked high into the air, with some sort of fancy decoration. I hadn’t thought of any flavour combinations or any particular designs yet, but it was slowly coming together in my head. There was, however, this niggling little thought in the very back of my head that was trying to tell me to make something different, to push myself a little further. If you look in my recipe index, you’ll see that the biggest categories are the cake & pie ones, which is hilarious because in the line-up of upcoming posts I currently have two new pies to share with you & also one new cake.
Three thoughts played around in my head. One: the chilled desserts section is severely lacking in new content. Two: of all the things I’ve baked in my whole life ever, my Raspberry Swirled Cheesecake from just over a year ago is pretty close to the very top of my favourites list. Three: Food52 officially declared this week Blueberry Week. After I read this, a fourth thought started to play around up there also: Boyfriend loves blueberries. And so, here we are. Cheesecake, with a blueberry lime drizzle. Clearly the a sign from the baking gods.
Every time I bake a cheesecake, I wonder why I don’t do it more often. Yes, you have to bake it in a water bath if you want it to look perfect & crack free. Yes, there is a hell of a lot of waiting around. Yes, you have to make it one day & then wait until the next day to eat it. In terms of speed, yes, it is a labour of love. But it is definitely worth it. Aside from all of the waiting, it is probably the most deliciously simple thing I’ve ever made. The biscuit base we could all make with our eyes closed. The filling is an electric-whisk-one-bowl-five-ingredient kind of situation that we all love so much. Once baked, cooled, & finally ready to be eaten, I guarantee that this will be the best cheesecake you have ever made in your entire life. It’s insanely light & fluffy & almost has the consistency of whipped cream. This is the one.
This all leads me back to the question: why the heck don’t we do this more often?
Makes one 9-inch cheesecake
For the crust:
- 250g finely crushed digestive biscuits
- 85g salted butter, melted
- 40g granulated sugar
For the cheesecake filling:
- 900g cream cheese, softened to room temp
- 300g granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract, homemade
- 4 eggs
For the blueberry + lime drizzle:
- 100g blueberries
- 1/8 cup water
- 25g + 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar
- fresh juice of 1 lime
- finely grated zest of 1 lime
- boiling water, for the water bath
- Preheat the oven to 180°C. Wrap the exterior of a 9-inch spring-form tin tightly in three layers of tin foil, ensuring there are no rips or crevices for water to sneak through; set aside.
- First, the crust. In a large bowl, mix together all of the crust ingredients. Using your fingers (or the base of a measuring cup), press the mixture firmly into bottom & up the sides of your prepared tin. Bake the crust until set, about 10-minutes. Leave to cool on a wire rack & reduce the oven temp to 160°C.
- Now, the cheesecake. In a large bowl, use an electric whisk to beat the cream cheese until fluffy, about 3-minutes. With mixer on low, add the sugar in a steady stream, scraping down the edges of the bowl as you go. Add the vanilla extract & mix thoroughly. Add eggs one at a time, mixing each until just combined & scraping down the bowl.
- Pour the filling over the par-baked crust. Place the uncooked cheesecake inside a large roasting tin. Carefully pour boiling water into roasting tin until it reaches halfway up the sides of the cheesecake tin. Very carefully transfer the whole thing to the preheated oven. Bake until the cheesecake is still slightly wobbly in the center, but is mostly set, 65-70 minutes. (A toothpick inserted near the center should not have wet, thin batter on it when removed.)
- Once cooked, transfer the cheesecake to a wire rack, remove the tin foil, & leave it to cool entirely to room temperature. When cooled completely, refrigerate the cheesecake – uncovered – for at least 6 hours, preferably overnight.
- To make the blueberry & lime drizzle, combine all of the ingredients in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat & simmer gently for 10-12 minutes, or until the berries have released their juices & become somewhat syrupy. Once cooked, transfer to a pouring jug, cool to room temperature & leave in the refrigerator until needed.
- Serve the cheesecake in big wedges with a generous spoonful of the blueberry & lime drizzle over the top.