Yet another food holiday in the month of May. But what a glorious food to celebrate!
Here are a few fun facts about cheesecake you probably don’t know:
Cheesecake is believed to have orginated in ancient Greece and debued in 776 A.D. when it was served to the athletes during the first Olympic Games. In the year 1000 A.D., cheesecake was introduced to Great Britain and western Europe by conquering Roman armies and it’s popularity spread throughout the rest of Europe. A cookbook written in 1565 called A Proper newe Booke of Cokeryre, records one of the first cheesecake recipes.
Arnold Reuben, owner of the legendary Turf Restaurant at 49th and Broadway in NYC, claims his family was the first to develop a cream cheese-based cheesecake recipe. Other bakeries relied on cottage cheese. New York cheesecake is the pure, unadulterated cheesecake with no fancy ingredients added or placed on top of it. It is made with pure cream cheese, eggs, sugar and cream. New Yorkers claim that cheesecake wasn’t cheesecake until it was made in New York!
New York, Sour Cream and Philadelphia Style are the three most popular styles of cheesecake. Cream cheese is the most widely used cheese in this delightful dessert. Fruit toppings are the most popular cheesecake toppings.
Here is a mouth-watering recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake from the people at Driscoll’s. You can find their berries at all the Reno local supermarkets.
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
1. 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.
1. 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.
1. 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.
This recipe is my next cooking project. It looks and sounds delicious! Bon Appetit, Reno!