The fireworks will take a back seat to dessert when this brilliant cheesecake is served up on the Fourth of July. Perfect for a gang and lots easier than homemade ice cream, this cheesecake chills happily in the fridge up to 3 days ahead. Swirled with fresh blueberry sauce and bejeweled with fresh fruit, it’s refreshing and rich all at once—a grand finale like no other. Here are a few tips:
• Make the cheesecake a day ahead and refrigerate until serving time.
• Use a stand mixer to beat the cream cheese.
• Cook the cheesecake in a water bath (bain marie) to prevent uneven baking and over-heating. Place the filled springform pan in a baking dish, transfer to the oven, then slowly pour water into the baking pan to a depth of 1 inch. By adding the water once you get the cake to the oven, you’ll avoid sloshing water all around your kitchen.
• Remove the cheesecake from the oven while still “jiggly” in the center.
• If the top cracks, pile on fruit and carry on. No one will care.
This cheesecake is based on one from Puckett’s Grocery in Franklin, Tenn.
1 cup blueberries
3 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/3 cup sugar
5 tablespoons butter, melted
3 pounds cream cheese
1 1/3 cups sugar
3 whole eggs
2 egg yolks
1/3 cup heavy cream
Small strawberries and blueberries for garnish
1. To prepare sauce, combine blueberries, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat until blueberries begin to release their juices. Mash some of the blueberries against the side of the pan. Let cool.
2. Preheat oven to 250F. Wrap the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with foil.
3. To prepare crust, combine all ingredients and press into the bottom of pan.
4. To prepare filling, beat cream cheese with a mixer at medium speed until smooth. Add sugar and beat until smooth. Combine eggs and egg yolks in a small bowl. Beat lightly. Slowly add eggs to cream cheese mixture while beating. Add heavy cream and beat, scraping the sides of bowl occasionally, until smooth.
5. Pour one-quarter of the batter into another bowl. Stir in blueberry sauce.
6. Pour half the unflavored batter over crust. Pour fruit-flavored batter on top. Swirl with a spoon or knife. Top with remaining unflavored batter. Swirl again.
7. Place springform pan in a larger baking pan. Place on the center rack of oven. Pour hot water into baking dish to a depth of 1-inch. Bake 3 hours. Remove from oven. Let cool. Refrigerate at least 8 hours before serving. Garnish with strawberries and blueberries. Serves 20.
Per serving: 384 calories, 30g fat, 136mg chol., 6g prot., 25g carbs., 0g fiber, 280mg sodium