Liz Sun and Emily Venezky have brought their baking skills home for this outbreak…
BY // LIZ SUN
Hey friends! Hope you’re all surviving out there and doing what you can to stay safe and healthy. But quarantine szn doesn’t mean you can’t treat yourself from time to time. As an AVID dessert lover, my craving for a cold, creamy treat just couldn’t be stifled any longer. And what better to time indulge than this past weekend, when my family and I celebrated Mother’s Day! Although my mom has a slight lactose intolerance, she requested I make this dessert as my gift to her. I’ve made a few cheesecakes before, and although they’ve all come out well, this one definitely tops them all. I had never tried the bain-marie style before, knowing that it’s a pain to assemble. I was never quite sure why adding in the extra work and fuss made any difference. But believe me when I say, it’s so worth it. It’s got the taste and texture of an authentic cheesecake. The kind you order mid-finals week when the late nights of studying finally push you enough to pay for a $13 uber eats delivery of one measly slice from the Cheesecake Factory (my bank account has taken a few dubious and petty expenses). The kind that will stop your mother from taking one bite until she’s taken a snapshot of it at every possible angle in front of both a glass of wine and a bouquet of flowers. But when she finally does so, her reaction to delighted taste buds lets you know you’ve done this Mother’s Day right.
White Chocolate Blueberry Cheesecake
Graham Cracker Crust 2 cups of graham crackers (approximately two sleeves) ¼ cup granulated sugar ¼ teaspoon salt 7 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted Cheesecake Filling (3) 8 oz packages of cream cheese, at room temp 1 cup greek yogurt, at room temp (feel free to use any flavor, such as vanilla or honey) 3 eggs and 2 egg yolks, at room temp ½ cup granulated sugar 1½ tablespoons of all-purpose flour 2 teaspoons vanilla extract 4½ tablespoons lemon juice 8 oz white chocolate, melted but slightly cooled 2 cups blueberries Berries to garnish
Note: This recipe requires you to use a water bath. Any baking pan or iron skillet/pot that is deep enough to submerge half of the cake pan in water will work. This method, known as “bain-marie,” is commonly used to help insulate the entire cheesecake and result in a silky smooth, even bake.
Adjust an oven rack to the middle position. Preheat the oven to 325 F. Wrap a 9” springform cake pan with multiple layers of aluminum foil around the outside, to prevent water from seeping through to the crust. (Make sure to test the pan in your water bath before placing the oven)
For the crust: 1. Blend the graham crackers, sugar, and salt in a food processor. Transfer the crumb mixture to a large bowl. Add the melted butter and stir well to combine.
2. Butter the springform pan. Press the crumb mixture into the pan evenly along the bottom and sides.
3. Bake for 8 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.
For the filling:
1. Blend the cream cheese and greek yogurt in a large bowl, until completely smooth. Add in the eggs, egg yolks, and sugar and mix until well combined.
Add in the flour and vanilla and gently mix (do not overmix). Using a spatula, fold in 1½ tablespoons of lemon juice and white chocolate.
2. To make the blueberry swirl puree, heat the blueberries and the remaining 3 tablespoons of lemon juice in a small saucepan. Mash the blueberries and cook over medium heat. When the puree starts to boil, turn down the heat to simmer and let it reduce for about 10 minutes. Strain the puree and discard the pulp (or save it to make a wonderful toast spread, yum!) Let the remaining blueberry juice cool before use.
3. Pour half of the filling into the cake pan, smoothing the top with a spatula. Pour half of the blueberry juice into the remaining filling and mix, creating a slight blue-ish purple tinge. Pour the remaining filling into the pan. Use the remaining blueberry juice to create designs on the top of the cheesecake. This can be done by dropping dollops of blueberry juice and gently swirling with a toothpick or fork.
4. Place the springform pan into the larger baking pan, and then move both pans into the oven. Fill the larger baking pan with enough boiling water to reach about halfway up the cheesecake.
5. Bake for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Then turn off the oven and let the cheesecake sit for another 45 minutes inside the oven with the door shut.
6. Remove from the oven and gently run a knife around the edge of the cake to loosen the crust from the pan. Allow the cheesecake to cool for at least 30 minutes before covering with plastic wrap and refrigerating for at least 6 hours/overnight.
7. When ready to eat, garnish with fresh berries and whipped cream, then serve!