Did you know that July 31st is Canada Food Day? I must confess, I didn’t either until I happened to stumble on a mention of it on another food blog. But as luck would have it, I was planning a dessert that fit perfectly with the occasion.
I’ve always believed if I’m going to invest time and ingredients in a special dessert, I’m going to go all in. This cheesecake has almost 4 packages of cream cheese in it. Not for the faint of heart :) And since wild Ontario blueberries are in season right now, I knew only they would be befitting of this special cheesecake. And let me tell you … it was all so worth it!
I’m lucky enough to live very close to where wild blueberries are plentiful. Even so, they are not cheap – $11 for a scant quart box, but worth every penny. If you’ve never had a wild blueberry, I can only tell you they are miles away from the large, cultivated ones. I love their petite size, the way they hold their shape through baking and of course, their intense, sweet blueberry flavour. And they apparently have more of that great antioxidant goodness than the cultivated ones, too. They are worth seeking out.
Don’t worry though, if wild blueberries aren’t in season, you can use any fresh or frozen blueberry for the sauce. It will still be sinfully good.
Wild blueberries next to a cultivated blueberry
Beyond the lovely blueberries, the cheesecake recipe was found via the New York Times where it was called “Junior’s” Cheesecake – a New York Style cheesecake, hailing from a famous New York eatery. Unfortunately, I only have a 10-inch springform pan so my cheesecake didn’t reach the great heights it would have in an 8-inch pan, but it was every bit as tasty.
True, it’s not the type of dessert you’d want to indulge in too often but for a special occasion or because it’s Canada Food Day, it’s perfection on a plate.
Cheesecake with Wild Ontario Blueberry Sauce
Summary: This cheesecake only gets better with some time spent in the refrigerator. I would suggest at least 4 hours in the fridge before serving or even longer, if you have the time. If wild blueberries aren’t available, feel free to use any fresh or frozen blueberry for the sauce.
- 1/4 – 1/2 cup graham cracker crumbs
- 3/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons sifted cornstarch
- 30 ounces (3 3/4 large packages) cream cheese, softened
- 1 large egg
- 1/2 cup heavy (35% whipping) cream
- 3/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Blueberry Sauce:
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries (wild, if you can find them)
- 1/3 cup white granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
- 1/2 cup water
- Pre-heat your oven to 350° F. Butter the bottom and sides on an 8-inch spring form pan. You can use a 10-inch but the cake will be thinner.
- Take the graham cracker crumbs and sprinkle evenly over the bottom of the pan, just so it covers the bottom of the pan without any bare spots. Place the pan in the fridge.
- In a large bowl (or the bowl of stand mixer), whisk together the sugar and the cornstarch. Beat in the cream cheese and then the egg. Slowly add in the heavy cream, beating constantly. Add the vanilla and mix well.
- Remove pan with cracker crumbs from the fridge. Pour this mixture into the prepared pan. Bake in the preheated 350° F. oven until the top is golden, about 40 to 45 minutes. Cool in the pan on a wire rack for 3 hours at room temperature, then refrigerate, 4 hours or more.
- Prepare Blueberry Sauce: Combine sugar and cornstarch in small saucepan. Take 1/2 cup of the blueberries and crush with a fork. Add to the saucepan with 1/2 cup of water. Stir. Bring to a boil and cook until sauce is thickened and translucent. Remove from heat and add remaining 1 cup of blueberries. Allow to cool at room temperature.
- Serve cheesecake drizzled with blueberry sauce.
Prep time: 30 min
Cook time: 45 min
Total time: 1 hour 15 min
Number of servings (yield): 8