Blueberries are a fruit that hold a special place among those who enjoy the fruits of summer. Not only are they good-tasting, but they’re a sensational powerhouse of healthful benefits. Health experts in recent years have been promoting blueberries for their great nutritional value, which include these interesting facts:
- 1 cup of blueberries contains about 84 calories.
- Blueberries are a valuable source of Vitamin C, Vitamin K and are virtually fat-free.
- They are a great way to help get your recommended daily amount of fiber.
- They are especially high in Omega-3 and Omega 6
- This valuable fruit is also said to help with memory loss.
We commonly think of using blueberries on our morning cereal, in pies and in muffins. This past Saturday, May 26, was “National Blueberry Cheesecake Day” and I discovered a sensational recipe to celebrate the event, which is “Vanilla Mascarpone Blueberry Cheesecake”. Even though the event is past, the blueberries are plentiful in the stores and at local farmer’s markets, so continue to celebrate with this wonderful dessert! This is a cheesecake that contains cream cheese and mascarpone cheese, also flavored with a fresh vanilla bean. This creamy filling is enveloped in an almond crust and crowned with a sweet, blueberry glaze. It’s as beautiful as it is delectable!
If you would like more nutritional information about blueberries and get some great blueberry recipes, Driscoll’s, the marketer of fresh fruits, has a website where you can obtain this information. Their website is: http://www.driscolls.com/berries/blueberries.php
Last year, I did a story on blueberries and included some recipes. In case you missed it, here’s the link to it: http://ovalpike.com/article/blueberries-a-crunch-and-a-sauce
If you’ve never tried blueberry cheesecake, let this wonderful recipe introduce you to it. It’s worth every bit of time you invest!
Vanilla Mascarpone Blueberry Cheesecake
- 4 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons water
- 2 packages (6 ounces or 1 1/4 cups each) Driscoll’s Blueberries
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 2 packages (8 ounces each) mascarpone cheese, at room temperature
- 1 1/3 cups sugar
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 vanilla bean, split and scraped
- 4 large eggs
- 2 cups slivered almonds
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
To prepare the crust:
Preheat oven to 350°F. Place almonds and sugar in bowl of a food processor and process until finely ground. Combine almond mixture and butter in a medium bowl. Pack into a 9-inch non-stick springform pan (if pan is not nonstick, brush first with melted butter). Wrap pan with triple layer of heavy-duty aluminum foil, making sure that foil reaches top of side of pan. Bake until lightly golden and set, about 15 minutes. Let cool completely. Reduce oven temperature to 300°F. Fill a large saucepot with water and bring to a boil over high heat.
To prepare the filling:
Mix cream cheese, mascarpone, sugar, and scrapings from vanilla bean in an electric mixer on low speed until blended. Add vanilla extract. Add eggs, 1 at a time, on low speed. Pour batter into cooled crust. Place cake pan in a larger roasting pan and fill halfway up side of cake pan with boiling water. Bake 1 hour 30 minutes or until edges are set and center jiggles slightly. Remove roasting pan from oven. Remove cake pan from water bath and let cool completely on a wire rack. Place in refrigerator and chill until cold throughout, 4 to 6 hours or overnight.
To prepare the topping:
Bring sugar and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and add blueberries. Cook, stirring frequently, until juices release and thicken and blueberries soften, about 5 minutes. Let cool slightly. Spoon blueberry mixture on top of cooled cheesecake.