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Archive for May 26, 2014

RECIPE: Easy Cheesecake Topping

NY_Blueberry_Cheesecake_cheesecake.com-230r

Make a blueberry topping for your
cheesecake with fresh or frozen blueberries.
Photo courtesy Cheesecake.com.

 

May 26th is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day. It may be hard to find a piece of blueberry cheesecake—cherry and strawberry are the popular berries toppings.

But you can easily make your own, from fresh or frozen berries. A homemade sauce is much tastier than the gelled goop into which berries are set on many commercial cheesecakes.

Then, just pick up a slice of cheesecake, top and celebrate. You can also use the berry topping on ice cream/sorbet, pancakes/waffles, puddings and other cakes: angel cake, chiffon cake, pound cake and sponge cake.

You can bake your own cheesecake and create a blueberry swirl cheesecake by swirling the topping into the batter. Here are some of our favorite cheesecake recipes.

RECIPE: BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE TOPPING

Ingredients

  • 2 cups blueberries or other berries
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (see Recipe Notes, below)
  • 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice or orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch, mixed with 2
    tablespoons cold water
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • Zest of 1 lemon or orange zest (about 1
    tablespoon)
  •  

    Preparation

    1. MIX the cornstarch with 2 tablespoons of cold water in a small bowl.

    2. COMBINE the blueberries, 1/2 cup of water, sugar and lemon juice in a saucepan. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mix comes to a low boil.

    3. GENTLY STIR the cornstarch into the blueberries, taking care not to crush the fruit. Simmer until the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a metal spoon (about 5 minutes).

    4. REMOVE from heat; gently stir in the vanilla and zest. Cool; refrigerate until ready to use. Warm very slightly in the microwave for easy pouring.

     

    Blueberry_Swirl_Cheesecake_cheesecake.com-230sq

    You can also swirl the blueberry topping into the cheesecake batter. Photo courtesy Cheesecake.com.

     
    RECIPE NOTES

  • Adjust the amount of sugar to the sweetness of the berries. We don’t oversweeten, to allow the flavor of the blueberries to come through.
  • For a thinner sauce, slowly add water by the tablespoon until you reach your preferred consistency.
  •   

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    TIP OF THE DAY: Fruit & Cheese Bites

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    Dried apricot and Parmesan “sandwiches.”
    You can sandwich almost any cheese
    between the fruit. Photo courtesy
    ParmigianoReggiano.com | FB.

     

    Fruit and cheese is a popular dessert in Europe’s best foodie countries, including France and Italy. But you don’t need to put together a platter. We found this quick idea on the Parmigiano Reggiano Facebook page.

    Make fruit and cheese “bites.” Stuff dried apricots, fresh or dried figs or other dried or fresh fruits with a piece of cheese—with anything from creamy goat cheese to salty, tangy Parmigiano Reggiano.

    These suggestions from EatWisconsinCheese.com provide pairing ideas along with drink ideas beyond the conventional beer, red or white wines most people serve with cheese:
     
    Soft-Fresh Cheeses
    Cheeses: Chevre, Feta, Mascarpone, Ricotta
    Fruits: Figs (fresh, dried or stewed), Fresh Peaches, Plums
    Garnishes: Pistachios, Toasted Almonds or Walnuts*, Fruit Jam
    Drinks: Chenin Blanc, Green Tea
     
    *Raw nuts have a slight bitterness. The best way to serve nuts with cheese is toasted or candied/caramelized. Almonds, pecans, hazelnuts, pine nuts, pistachios and walnuts go best with cheese.

     
    Soft-Ripened Cheeses
    Cheeses: Brie, Camembert, Other Double Crèmes
    Fruits: Dried Apricots
    Garnishes: Dried Cherries or Cranberries
    Drinks: Cherry Kriek, Kir Royale, Lillet (fortified wine)
     
    Blue Cheeses
    Cheeses: Cabrales, Danish Blue, Gorgonzola, Roquefort
    Fruits: Dried Apricots, Figs (fresh or dried, or any dried fruit), Stone Fruit, Apples
    Garnishes: Caramelized Hazelnuts or Walnuts, Dried Cherries or Cranberries, Honey, Fruit Jam, Membrillo, Toasted Almonds
    Drinks: Chocolate Stout, Gin Gibson

     

    Semisoft Cheeses
    Cheeses: Fontina, Havarti, Monterey Jack, Muenster
    Fruits: Apples, Pears (fresh, dried or spiced and preserved), Quince
    Garnishes: Toasted Hazelnuts or Walnuts, Tomato Jam, Vegetable Tapanade
    Drinks: Gewürtztraminer, Kirsch Royale (with Champagne)
     

    Hispanic Cheeses
    Cheeses: Asadero, Cotija, Queso Bresco
    Fruits: Dried Apricots or Figs
    Garnishes: Toasted Nuts
    Drinks: Cava, Mead (honey wine), Mexican Beer
     
    Semihard Cheeses
    Cheeses: Cheddar, Edam, Gouda
    Fruits: Dried Apricots, Honeycrisp Apples, Pears
    Garnishes:Caramelized or Toasted Nuts, Jams/Compotes (apricot, blueberry, fig, quince)
    Drinks: Ale (especially fall’s spiced ales), Riesing, Small Batch Bourbon, Sparkling Cider

    Alpine/Swiss Cheeses
    Cheeses: Comté, Gruyère, Emmenthaler
    Fruits: Any Dried Fruit
    Garnishes: Toasted Nuts
    Drinks: Lambic, Manhattan Cocktail

     

    comte-figs-compteUSAfb-230

    Fresh figs with Comté wraps. Photo courtesy Comté USA | FB.

     
    Hard Cheeses
    Cheeses: Asiago, Grana Padano, Manchego, Parmigiano-Reggiano, Romano
    Fruits: Dates, Figs (fresh or dried)
    Garnishes: Fig Jam, Honey, Membrillo, Toasted Almonds or Marcona Almonds
    Drinks: Sparkling Prosecco, Nebbiolo
     
    MORE ABOUT CHEESE

    Check out our delicious Cheese Glossary and much more about gourmet cheeses.
      

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