Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberry Topping

For the Crust

1 cup crushed gingersnap cookies
1 cup finely chopped pecans
1/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup butter, melted

For the Filling

2 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
3 large eggs, at room temperature
1 (14 ounce) can sweetened condensed milk
2 teaspoons grated lemon rind
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1 (8 ounce) container sour cream (optional)

For the Blueberry Topping

2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
1/4 cup water
1 cup orange juice
3/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
3 tablespoons cornstarch
1/2 teaspoon almond flavoring
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon

To make the Crust:

Stir together the crushed gingersnap cookies, pecans, sugar, and melted butter. Press the mixture in the bottom and 2 inches up the sides of a  9 inch springform pan greased with butter. Place aluminum foil on a baking pan and pull the foil up around the side of the springform pan. (The foil will catch any butter that leaks from the pan during baking.) Set aside.

To make the Filling:
Beat cream cheese at medium speed with an electric mixer  or stand mixer 3 minutes or until light and fluffy. Add eggs one at a time, beating until just blended. Gradually add milk, rind, and lemon juice, beating until blended. Pour into prepared crust. Bake at 300 degrees for 1 hour or until almost set. Turn off oven and let the cake stand in the oven 30 minutes. Remove cake to a wire rack, spread evenly with sour cream (if desired) and let cool completely. Cover the top of the springform pan with a clean dish towel and chill in the refrigerator for at least 8 hours. 

To make the Blueberry Topping:
Combine blueberries, 1/4 cup water, orange juice, and sugar. Stir gently and bring to a boil. In a small bowl, mix the cornstarch and the 1/4 cup water. Gently stir the cornstarch mixture into the blueberries so as to not mash them. Simmer gently until thick enough to coat the back of a spoon, about 3-4 minutes. Add almond flavoring and cinnamon. If the topping is too thick, thin with a little water. 

To serve:
To serve, remove the outer ring of the springform pan. Very gently, run a spatula under the cake to pry off the metal base before placing on a serving stand. To easily cut slices, dip a  knife into warm water, wipe on a clean dish towel, and cut. Repeat after each slice.   Garnish with blueberry topping.

Jane Windham,
Mar 28, 2013, 8:16 AM