I might have already said this, but I used to be scared of baked cheesecakes. Something to do with the water bath, probably. It’s funny how over time you grow more confident of what you can achieve and now, as it stands, I actually prefer baked cheesecakes to their non-bake cousins. A baked cheesecakes presents several advantages: first of all, it’s sturdier, which means I can get it off the tin base quite easily almost all of the time. Also, it’s firmer, meaning that with one night in the fridge the cheesecake lasts for a good 4-5 hours at room temperature without melting, while a non-bake one would probably be cream (cheese) after a mere 30 minutes. Lastly (but I’m sure there’s many more), you can play with fruit and ripple the cheesecake with sauces and different syrupy fillings because, as it bakes, the cheesecake will hold them inside. Pure bliss.
Anyway, this is a recipe I found in the July edition of the BBC Good Food Magazine. I merely amended some of the quantities and changed the tin. The original one looked stunning in a rectangular shape, but as I don’t have a rectangular tin with a removable base, I decided to opt for the more classic round one. Be aware, though, that these quantities yield quite a big one. I used a 26cm round springform tin and it was very full. It’s also a very rich cheesecake (if you have a quick look at the amount of cream cheese you will understand why), but not too sweet and extremely delicious. Ultimately, you can play with the design on top, which is always a bonus.
- 300g digestive biscuits
- 140g butter
- 250 + 25g golden caster sugar
- 200g blueberries
- 1 tsp cornflour
- 900g cream cheese, full fat
- 4 tbsp plain flour
- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
- 3 large eggs
- 200ml sour cream
- Start with the base. If you have a food processor, tip the biscuits and the butter (even chilled is fine) inside, then whiz until you get a sandy mixture. If you don’t have a food processor, put the biscuits in a bag, seal it, then have a proper go at them with a rolling pin (or a big glass, but use the base and don’t smash it). Melt the butter in a pan over a medium heat, then let it cool for a good 5 minutes. Transfer the biscuit crumbs to a big bowl, pour the melted butter on top and mix to combine.
- Pre-heat your oven to 200C. Butter your springform tin (especially the sides).
- Transfer the biscuit crumble to the tin and use the back of your hands to press it down firmly onto the base. Aim for an even layer.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then remove from the oven and leave to cool.
- Move on to the blueberry sauce. Tip the 25g sugar and half the blueberries in a saucepan. Mix the cornflour with a tablespoon of water, then pour that in as well. Heat on a low to medium heat until the sugar dissolves, then increase to heat to high and let the mixture bubble away for a few minutes, until thickened. Keep an eye on it as it might stick to the pan. Once ready and jam-like, remove from the heat and leave to cool.
- In the meantime, prepare the filling. If you have a freestanding mixer, tip the ingredients in the bowl and use the paddle attachment. Otherwise, use a big bowl and electric whisks (it can also be done manually, but it will take time and patience).
- Put all of the cream cheese in the mixing bowl, then mix on low speed until the mixture is smooth. Add the remaining sugar and whisk again, then add the eggs, vanilla extract, flour and sour cream. Mix well to combine.
- Pour half of the cheesecake mixture over the now cooled base, then spoon over half of the blueberry jam and half of the leftover blueberries. Cover with the rest of the cheesecake mixture, then add the rest of the blueberry jam in big blobs and the remaining blueberries.
- Take a toothpick (or a skewer) and use it to ripple the blobs into the cheesecake.
- Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 110C and bake for another 30 minutes.
- Turn off the oven (but don’t open the door!) and leave the cheesecake to set for 1 hour, then leave the oven door ajar and let the cheesecake cool for another hour.
- Transfer to the fridge for a good couple of hours or, even better, overnight.
- When ready, unmould from the tin and serve.