Today, May 26 is National Blueberry Cheesecake Day, so go ahead and indulge!
Did you know that fresh blueberries are now available year-round with North American blueberries available from April through October, and South American blueberries, from November through March? We are coming into the peak season for fresh blueberries, which runs from mid-June to mid-August according to the Blueberry Council and most of the blueberries you find in the supermarket are highbush blueberries. And if you want your blueberries fresh from the field, jump to Blue Dynamos® for locations of U-Pick Blueberries Farms in New Jersey.
Blueberries are one of the few berries native to North America and, according to U.S. fruit consumption, blueberries rank only second to strawberries in popularity. Blueberries are not only popular, but also repeatedly ranked in the U.S. diet as being one of the highest antioxidant-rich fruits among all fruits, vegetables, spices and seasonings. Some additional nutritional benefits of this power fruit are that blueberries are loaded with Vitamin C and dietary fiber and are an excellent source of manganese.
Not to overlook the cheesecake part of this celebration, here are some interesting facts about cheesecake:
- New York, Sour Cream and Philadelphia Style are the three most popular style of cheesecakes
- It is believed that Cheesecake was served to the athletes at the first Olympic Games, held in 776 BC
- Cream Cheese is the most widely used cheese in this delightful dessert
- Fruit Toppings are the most popular cheesecake topping
- 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 the cooled cheesecake.