Do you crave cheesecake? Growing up in New York, cheesecake was dense enough that you could stand up a fork in it. Now you can have that decadent, rich, silky, dense blueberry cheesecake without eggs. Yummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!
My mother used to make a marvelous marble cheesecake. And while I adored it, I hadn’t made it in about 40 years. Since most of the time it is just me and my husband – especially since the pandemic – making a cheesecake that serves 12 to 14 servings simply didn’t make sense. And even when I had guests, everyone was either watching their cholesterol, kept kosher or had a deathly egg allergy.
Then I came across this eggless cheesecake and it caught my eye. I had intended on making it for the Festival of Shavuot when it is traditional to eat dairy meals. However, didn’t quite get there. When I saw that it used a 6-inch springform pan I was really interested. Finally the perfect New York-style cheesecake that two people could reasonably consume in a few days! But did it taste good? Because at the end of the day, what’s the point in eating a rich dessert if it doesn’t taste great? It’s wonderful. Not too sweet and while dense and rich, it is surprisingly not super heavy. The cheesecake is creamy and has wonderful mouthfeel. And while it would be delicious with any or no topping, the blueberries add both visual appeal and a lovely counterpoint to the rich filling.
I made a few tweaks both to the instructions and to the ingredients. And while I did make the crust as directed, my husband and I decided that next time, I would likely halve the amount. There was nothing tricky about the process. I did have to purchase a 6-inch springform pan, which is easy to get online and was not expensive. But since I loved the resulting size which was perfect for 6 servings, I will definitely be using it over and over again.
The recipe called for frozen blueberries, but feel free to use fresh especially now that summer is here and they are so plentiful. You will note that the cheesecake itself uses no additional sugar beyond what is in the sweetened condensed milk. This is just the right amount of sweetness and you are left with a very clean taste that allows the creaminess of the cheesecake to shine.
Yield: About 6 servings
Crust (This is the amount in the original recipe which makes a delicious but fairly thick crust)
250 g of crushed biscuits (Digestive or graham crackers) This is about 2.5 cups
1/2 cup (113 g) melted butter (salted or unsalted)
8 oz. (225 g) full-fat cream cheese in a block, softened
1/2 cup (120 g) heavy or double cream
2 Tablespoons cornstarch
2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Zest of one large lemon
Zest of 1/2 an orange
14 oz. can (396 g) of Sweetened Condensed Milk
2 cups (380 g) of fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup of granulated sugar
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
Zest of half of a large lemon
2 teaspoons corn starch
3 Tablespoons (44g) cold water
Lightly grease the bottom of the springform pan and line it with a round of parchment. You don’t have to do this but it will make it easy to transfer the cake off of the bottom of the tin.
Blitz the biscuits in a food processor or with a rolling pin until you have fine crumbs. Do not wash the food processor. Just try to remove any excess crumbs. Transfer the crumbs to a bowl and add the melted butter. Mix until all of the crumbs are moist. Press the crumbs into the bottom of the prepared pan. Refrigerate for at least 15 minutes.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F or 160 C.
Using a hand beater or the food processor (why dirty another utensil?) beat the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
In a smallish bowl, whisk the heavy cream and corn starch until smooth. Add this to the cream cheese. Add the vanilla, sweetened condensed milk and citrus zest. Blitz until the batter is completely smooth. Pour the batter into the pan over the crumb base.
Wrap the bottom of the pan in two layers of aluminum foil to prevent any leakage. Set the pan in a baking dish large enough to hold it. I used a 9-inch square pan. Carefully add hot tap water to the pan until it comes up about half-way up the sides of the springform mold.
Place in the oven and bake for about 1 hour or until the center just slightly jiggles. Turn off the oven and leave the door ajar with the cheesecake inside. Keep the pan in there until your oven fan turns off or the cheesecake cools down. This prevents the crust from cracking.
Remove the cooled cake to a wire rack and using a sharp, flat blade, just carefully run it around the circumference of the cake. Cool the cake in the fridge for 4 to 6 hours.
Meanwhile make the topping. Place the blueberries, sugar, zest and lemon juice in a heavy-bottomed pan. On medium heat, cook until the sugar dissolves. Make a slurry of the cornstarch and water (that just means that you mix the two until there is a milky, smooth liquid). Add this to the blueberry mixture and bring it to a boil. Cook until the mixture thickens up. It doesn’t have to be totally solid as it will continue thickening in the fridge, but should be the consistency of a good jam. Allow the mixture to cool.
Add the cool mixture to the top of the cheesecake. I did it in the mold, but the original had you unmold the cheesecake and then add it. Your preference.
When you are ready to serve, unlock the springform and carefully remove the ring. You can then either leave the cake on the bottom for serving or it should come off easily once the suction has been broken. Transfer to a serving plate and enjoy.