Introduction: Blueberry Cheesecake

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I followed this recipe pretty closely. It says to begin making the cheesecake the day before you want to serve it. That is a wonderful piece of advice. This recipe isn't difficult so much as it is detailed. There are a lot of steps, and a lot of waiting.

Pull out all of your kitchen tools. You will need them. All.

But the end result is the most glorious reward.

Planning note: I used two pints of blueberries total.

Step 1: Crust Ingredients

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2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs (approximately five cookie sheets)

2/3 cup vanilla wafer crumbs (approximately 20 cookies)

3 tablespoons sugar

3 tablespoons butter, melted

I measured out the cookie crumbs based on the recipe approximations and they were really close. So if you just want to use five graham cracker cookie sheets and 20 vanilla wafer cookies, you'd probably be fine.

Step 2: Crush Cookies

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I used my blender to crush the cookies. I did them separately, but you could do them all together and save the step of mixing them.

Step 3: Combine Dry Ingredients

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If you didn't also add your sugar to the cookie mixture in the blender, mix them all together now.

Step 4: Add Butter

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Add melted butter to crumb and sugar mixture. The picture doesn't show it as well, but the mixture will be a little darker with the butter added. It will still be very crumbly. If you've never made a graham cracker crust this might worry you, but its okay. Really.

Step 5: Make Crust

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Press the graham cracker mixture into the bottom of a greased 9 inch springform pan. This is one of my favorite parts. The cookie crumbs magically adhere together under the pressure of your hands. Bake in a 325 degree oven for 10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. There is only a subtle difference between the color and look of the baked and unbaked crust. This is okay.

Step 6: Blueberry Puree Ingredient List

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2 1/2 cups blueberries

1 Tbsp cornstarch

Step 7: Puree

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Blend cornstarch and blueberries in a food processor until smooth.

Step 8: Cook Puree

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Place puree in small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, cooking for six minutes or until slightly thick. Stir constantly.The mixture will turn a deeper purple color as it cooks. Just beautiful!

Cool slightly. Reserve 1/2 cup of blueberry puree for sauce.

Step 9: Cheesecake Filling Ingredient List

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3 1/2 8 oz blocks cream cheese, softened

1 cup sugar

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1/4 tsp salt

5 large eggs

Step 10: Cream Filling

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Place cream cheese in a stand mixer bowl. (I'm so sorry if you have to do this with a hand mixer. I wouldn't even attempt without a mechanical mixer of some sort.) Blend until smooth.

Step 11: Add Dry Ingredients

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Combine sugar, cornstarch and salt in a separate bowl. Add to cream cheese and blend well.

Step 12: Add Eggs

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Add eggs one at a time. Blend well between each egg.

Pour finished batter over graham cracker crust.

Step 13: Add Blueberry Puree.

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Pour the remaining blueberry puree (after the 1/2 cup reserve) on top of the filling. Gently swirl in with a knife. I love making swirls! Sadly, this one gets covered up with a delicious topping, but it is still visible in individual slices.

The recipe says to bake in a 325 degree oven for an hour and ten minutes or until cheesecake center barely moves when pan is touched. I baked mine for a full hour and a half and still didn't feel like the cheesecake center was barely moving when touched. But I was afraid of over-baking so I stopped then. I may have over-baked it, but it still tasted and looked delicious in the end, and I do not believe it was under-baked, so... Good luck to you on this step.

Remove cheesecake from oven and place on a wire rack.

Step 14: Topping Ingredient List

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1 1/2 cups sour cream

2 Tbsp sugar

1/2 tsp vanilla

Step 15: Mix and Add Topping

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Combine sour cream, sugar and vanilla. Mix well.

Spread over cheesecake.

Bake for 10 minutes in 325 degree oven.

Remove from oven and run a knife around the outside edge of the cheesecake.

Put on wire rack and cool completely.

Step 16: Cook Blueberry Sauce.

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Combine reserved 1/2 cup blueberry puree, 1/4 cup of sugar and 1/4 cup of water in a small saucepan. Cook on medium heat, stirring constantly. The recipe said to cook for eight minutes, but I cooked for about 15 minutes. I still didn't think it was very thick, but decided to stop then and the sauce turned out wonderfully.

Step 17: Add Blueberries.

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I added the remaining blueberries (from the two pints) to the sauce. Fold in gently. Remove from heat. Cool. Serve with cheesecake.

Step 18: Refrigerate Cheesecake

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After the cheesecake cools completely, refrigerate for at least 8 hours before removing from springform pan and serving.

Enjoy a piece after all your hard work and waiting!

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