We got invited to an impromptu cookout over the weekend where I got asked to bring the dessert. I could have just picked something up at the store at that point but decided to make something with the beautiful blueberries I had in the fridge just waiting to be eaten. Nothing says summertime like plump juicy blueberries.
I love roaming on a site called Foodgawker because I see so many beautiful pictures of food and come across some great ideas for cooking up or the pictures spark new ideas when I need inspiration. Since I didn’t have too much time to figure out something to make, it was off to Foodgawker for ideas, where I came across the recipe for Blueberry Goat cheese Bars from Bird & Cleaver. Their pictures just made me want to lick my screen in the hopes of a little taste and I had all the ingredients to make them for the cookout. How could anyone go wrong with goat cheese and blueberries?!
As usual I did make a few adjustments to the recipe. The biggest change that I made was using nonfat Greek yogurt, instead of using sour cream as they suggested. I also left out the sugar for the graham cracker crust because I don’t feel extra sugar is needed and will actually make the dessert over sweet.
I also varied from their cooking instructions and cooked the cake in a Springform pan in a water bath to prevent cracking. The other thing that causes cheesecake to crack is over cooking, so pay attention to it as its cooking. Once the center is set, it’s time to get your cheesecake out of the oven. This not only prevents cracking but also helps your cheesecake stay moist.
The cheesecake turned out wonderful. It was creamy and moist and just blueberry enough without being overpowering. It also didn’t feel guilty since it didn’t have all the fat in it. I served it with extra blueberry syrup and blueberries sprinkled over the top. The perfect ending to a wonderful summertime meal shared with friends.
Blueberry Goat Cheese Cheesecake
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
6 Tbsp. melted butter
Preheat over to 350° F and lightly oil your Springform pan. Wrap the outside bottom of the pan with tinfoil to prevent the water from the water bath from leaking into the pan.
Combine the graham cracker crumbs and butter, then pour into pan. Press firmly down to form a dense layer for the crust. Bake in the oven until the crust sets (about 4 to 5 minutes). Set aside to cool.
1 pint blueberries, washed and cleaned
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup + 2 Tbsp.water, separated
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
Pinch of salt
1 Tbsp. corn starch
Place the blueberries, sugar, 1/4 cup of water, lemon juice and salt in a small sauce pan. Cook of medium heat until blueberries pop and reduce to a syrup. Mix the cornstarch with the 2 tablespoons of water and add to the blueberry mixture, stirring well. Cook for about 2 more minutes or until syrup starts to thicken. Remove from heat and strain through a fine mesh strainer to remove skins and seeds. Set aside to cool.
8 oz. reduced fat cream cheese, warmed to room temperature
4 oz. goat cheese, warmed to room temperature
6 oz. nonfat Greek yogurt
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp. vanilla
Pinch of salt
Cream the cream and goat cheeses together in a mixer. Scrape down the sides of the bowl and add sugar and yogurt. Mix well to combine, about 1 to 2 minutes, scraping down the bowl occasionally. Add eggs, one at a time, beating well after each. Add the vanilla and the salt, scraping down and mixing one last time.
Pour the cheesecake filling onto the prepared crust and smooth out to level. Drop spoonfuls of the blueberry syrup on top of the cheesecake filling and swirl through the filling using a spatula to make a swirled pattern into the filling, using as much of the syrup as you would like. I used about 3/4 of a cup.
Bake in the 350°F oven until the center is set, about 40 to 45 minutes. Remove from oven and allow the cheesecake to cool for about 10 to 15 minutes before releasing the sides of the Springform pan. Cool the cake to room temperature before placing the cake into the fridge to finish cooling (2 to 3 hours) and removing from the bottom of the pan. Remove bottom and place the cheesecake on a plate to prevent damaging your pan bottom.
Allow the cheesecake to stand at room temperature for about 15 minutes before serving. Top with more syrup and extra berries.
Makes 12 servings.
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