04 August 2010

Blueberry Vanilla Cheesecake

Blueberry Vanilla Cheesecake
Adapted from The Bon Appétit Cookbook

For crust
1 1/2 cups ground shortbread cookies (recipe follows)
1 cup hazelnuts, toasted, husked
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup (1/2 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

For filling
2 vanilla beans, split lengthwise (or 2 Tbsp vanilla bean paste)
1/3 cup whipping cream
3 8-ounce packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
4 large eggs
12 oz fresh blueberries
1 tablespoon cornstarch

For topping

1 cup sour cream
3 tablespoons sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup blueberry jam

Make crust:

Preheat oven to 350°F. Finely grind ground cookies, nuts and sugar in processor. Add butter and vanilla; process until moist crumbs form. Press onto bottom and up sides of 9-inch-diameter springform pan with 2 3/4-inch-high sides. Wrap outside of pan with foil. Bake until crust is light golden, about 15 minutes. Cool. Maintain oven temperature.

Make filling:
Scrape seeds from vanilla beans into heavy small saucepan; add beans. Add cream and bring to boil. Cool completely. Discard beans.
Using electric mixer, beat cream cheese and sugar in large bowl until smooth. Add vanilla-cream mixture, sour cream and vanilla extract and beat until well blended. Beat in eggs 1 at a time.
Gently mix blueberries and cornstarch in medium bowl. Pour 2/3 of filling into crust. Sprinkle berry mixture over. Pour remaining filling over berries to cover. Bake until cake is golden and begins to crack around edges but still moves slightly in center when pan is shaken, about 1 hour 10 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes (cake will fall).
Make topping:
Mix sour cream, sugar and vanilla in small bowl to blend.

Gently press down any raised edges of cake. Spoon topping evenly over cake. Bake 10 minutes. Cool cake on rack. Refrigerate overnight. (Can be prepared 2 days ahead. Keep refrigerated.)

Melt jam in small saucepan over low heat. Brush some jam over top of cake. Arrange remaining berries atop cake. Gently brush berries with remaining jam. (Can be made 8 hours ahead. Keep chilled.)

Run small sharp knife around pan sides to loosen cake. Remove pan sides. Place cake on platter. Serve cold.

Shortbread Cookies
The King Arthur Flour Baker's Companion

1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
1 tsp salt
3/4 cup (5 1/4 oz) sugar
2 cups (8 1/2 oz) flour

In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, cream together butter, salt, and sugar. Add flour and mix into a dough. Turn out onto parchment paper, shape into a long log and roll up. Freeze 1 hour. Slice into 1/2 inch slices with a sharp knife. Bake at 300 for 20 minutes. Cool completely on wire rack.