Spring is in the Air!
A cheesecake is a perfect favor to bring to any event, or give as a gift! A cheesecake is a custard based dessert with a second layer. Usually the second layer is a crust or a crunchy layer of some sort.
Today is my Zia Ornellas birthday! One of her favorite desserts is a cheesecake. Traditionally I make cheesecake with cream cheese, and sour cream. Today I made it with ricotta and cream cheese because, there is always a reason to add a splash of Italian in a dessert, and my aunt likes it. As the crust, I used gluten free pretzels. Yes this dessert is GLUTEN FREE! The combination of salty pretzels, creamy cheesecake, and the citrus blueberry topping, will be heaven in your mouth! If there is only one thing people take from my blog, I hope its the versatility, and unimaginative things you can do with one single recipe.
You can still use this recipe, and replace the ricotta with sour cream. If, you want a traditional graham cracker crust instead of glutenfree pretzels, that is fine as well. Finally, if you would like a different berry for the topping, like strawberries, be bold and do it! All you have to do is just swap out the ingredients, all the steps remain the same. BE CREATIVE!! LET ME JUST BE A GUIDELINE!
Since it is Spring time; and it is coming closer to summer, blueberries were the perfect choice for the topping! They come in season this time of year. If you look close to home; sometimes, there are farms you can pick them from scratch, and make a day out of it! Farm to table is always and interest for me!
Yield: 1 – ’10’ cheesecake pan
Cheesecake base: 2 1/4 Lbs Philadelphia Cream Cheese 1 1/2 Cup Ricotta 2 Cup Sugar 1 Tsp Salt 1 Tbs Vanilla Extract 1 Tbs Cornstarch 5 eggs Pretzel Crust: 2 1/2 Cup Pretzels (gluten free) 1/4 Cup Sugar 3/4 Cup Melted Butter Blueberry Compote: 2 Pints Blueberries 1 Cup Sugar 2 Lemon zest 1 Lemon Juice 1/3 Cup Cornstarch
Cheesecake & Crust Directions:
- In a bowl blend all ingredients together until smooth and creamy : cream cheese, ricotta, vanilla, eggs, sugar, cornstarch, and salt. Set Aside.
- Melt butter.
- Blend pretzels into a crumb.
- Mix melted butter, and ground pretzels into a crust crumble.
- Press into the bottom of the cheesecake pan and bake at 350° F for 10 minutes.
- Lower the oven to 250°F.
- Pour the cheesecake batter in the pan on top of the toasted crust.
- Make a bain marie with the cheesecake pan(fill an extra pan which is larger then the cheesecake pan half way up with water).
- Bake 1 hr 30 minutes – 1 hr 45 minutes. Just until the top springs back, and does not jiggle.
- Place in the cooler for 1 hr.
Blueberry Compote Directions:
- Bring to a boil the sugar, zest, juice, and blueberries.
- As soon as it boils and the sugar dissolves, turn off the heat.
- Make a slurry with the cornstarch, and blueberry liquid. Whisk together.
- Add the cornstarch mixture back to the pot. Bring it to a boil, until it becomes a thick compote.
- Let compote cool in the cooler for 1 hr.
- Un-mold cheesecake, and pour compote on top!
- Enjoy a thick slice!
I hope you guys like this cheesecake as much as Rachael & Chandler from friends like theirs!! I love this episode!