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Homemade Cheesecake with Graham Cracker crust and Pomegranate Blueberry Sauce.

Prep Time: 30 to 45 minutes.
Bake Time: 1 to 2 hours.
Sauce Time: 1 hour.

Don't forget to let the cheesecake rest overnight before serving. Cover with saran wrap to keep the other flavors out.

Step 1: Tools Needed

You will need the following kitchen tools:

- Adult supervision if not allowed to use the oven by either your parent or spouse.

- 9in Spring Form Pan
- Lg Roasting Pan
- Water Kettle
- Small Sauce Pan
- Large Sauce Pan
- 2 Large Mixing Bowls
- Measuring Cups & Spoons
- Rolling Pin & Zip Top Freezer Bag
- Stand Mixer or Hand Mixer
- Spatula, Wooden Spoon, Lg Metal Slotted Spoon
- Aluminum Foil, Saran Wrap, Medium Storage Jar
- Pam Cooking Spray

Step 2: A Crusty Start - Ingredients, Prep & Cooking

Ingredients:
- 1 sleeve graham crackers (store brand is fine)
- 6 TBSP butter, melted (sm sauce pan)
- 1/4 cup granulated sugar
- 1 pinch fresh ground cinnamon

Prep & Pre-Baking (preheat oven to 350 degrees):

a. Set out the cream cheese for step 4 so it can soften.

1. Take the spring form pan and turn it upside down. Place 2 layers of aluminum foil over the bottom and pull it up on the sides. Do not push the foil inside the pans. If there is extra foil, scrunch it around the top outside.
2. Spray the spring form pan liberally with Pam cooking spray.
3. Use the freezer bag and rolling pin to crush the sleeve of graham crackers. Be careful! If you use too much force you will break the bag. You are looking for mostly fine pieces, nothing larger than a few millimeters.
4. Add sugar and cinnamon and mix with wooden spoon.
5. Melt the butter over low low heat. Butter burns very quickly. It will take about ten minutes.
6. Stir the butter into the graham mixture making sure that it gets mixed thoroughly.
7. Press the mixture into the bottom and sides of the spring form pan. Only coat the bottom half of the sides.
8. Bake in oven for 12 minutes and set on counter.

Step 3: Lets Get Saucy! - Ingredients, Prep & Cooking

Ingredients:
- 1 32oz container 100% pomegranate juice, organic if available (better taste)
- 1 12oz package of frozen blueberries
- 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
- 2 TBSP cornstarch
- 1/2 to 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1 pinch of cinnamon

Prep & Cooking:
1. Shake the pomegranate juice to reincorporate the sludge on the bottom (its good for you).
2. Bring the juice to a rolling boil in a large sauce pan.
3. Add frozen blueberries and bring back to rolling boil (or as close as possible).
4. Reduce heat to a medium to soft boil, uncovered, and allow the liquid to reduce by at least half.
5. Add brown sugar and stir with slotted spoon to dissolve.
6. Add cornstarch to a few tablespoons of luke warm water and combine. Stir into sauce.
7. Add cinnamon and vanilla extract.
8. Continue to boil on low heat until sauce will stick to the back of a spoon.
9. Taste and add more sugar if needed (while still boiling).
10. Allow sauce to cool in pot until warm. Place in medium storage jar and seal. Place in the fridge once room temperature. Chill overnight.

Step 4: Creamy Goodness! - Ingredients, Prep & Cooking

Ingredients:
- 4 8oz. packages cream cheese (Philadelphia is best, but store brand is OK if its good)
- 5 large eggs
- generous 3/4 cup of granulated sugar
- 3 TBSP all-purpose flour
- 1 tsp pure vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp almond extract (imitation extract is acceptable)
- 1 pinch cinnamon (fresh ground preferred)
- 8oz Ghirardelli (or Lindt) white baking chocolate, melted*

a. Fill water kettle and start it a boilin'

Prep (preheat oven to 325 degrees):
1. Using a stand (or a hand mixer) mixer, beat the cream cheese for about 2 minutes or until its fluffy.
2. Add the sugar 1/4 cup at a time, mixing to incorporate.
3. Add the flour and mix to incorporate.
4. Crack open all 5 eggs in a small bowl and add one at a time, mixing between each.
5. Add the vanilla and almond extracts and the cinnamon.
6. Add the melted white chocolate* (see step 5 for instructions) and mix to fully incorporate.

  • See the chocolate photo for explanation of the chocolate.

Baking:
1. Check the aluminum foil on the bottom of the spring form pan. If its damaged, replace it. The aluminum foil is critical to ensure that water does not get into the cheesecake.
2. Place the spring form pan inside the roasting pan.
3. Add the batter to the spring form.
4. Open your 325 degree oven and place the tray in tray on the middle rack.
5. Carefully fill the roasting pan with boiling/extremely hot water. Use care not to get any in the spring form pan or on yourself.
6. Push the tray into the oven and bake for 60 minutes. The cheesecake will not be done. You need to then check it every 20 minutes until it has risen above the pan and has a golden brown top. Add more water if the pan level gets low.
7. Insert a tooth pick in the center of the cheesecake once golden. If it comes out clean, your done baking.
8. Turn off the oven, open the door and slide the tray out.
9. VERY SLOWLY remove the roasting pan and set it on the stove. Be careful of the water, it may not be boiling, but 2nd degree burns are no fun.
10. Take the spring form pan out of the roasting pan and set on a cooling rack. Carefully remove the aluminum foil.
11. Cool for 2 hours and then refrigerated overnight (minimum 10 hours). The cheesecake will shrink back into the pan, this is normal.

Step 5: How to Melt Chocolate in Your Microwave.

Steps:
1. Break the chocolate bars into individual squares and place in a microwave safe CLEAR container.
2. Cook on 50% power for integers of 1 minute until you can stir the chocolate together. Your done, it doesn't have to be ultra liquidy or hot.
3. Use a clear container to watch for burning. If you use too much power or heat too long, the chocolate will turn black and sear.

Step 6: Service With a Smile - How to Enjoy.

1. Take the cheesecake and sauce out of the fridge and place on the counter.
2. Take the sides off the spring form pan.
3. Cut the cheesecake into slices and plate.
4. Spoon generous portions of the Pomegranate Blueberry sauce over the cheesecake.
5. Serve and enjoy.

Estimated 12 to 16 servings per cheesecake.

I have no clue how many calories there are and honestly if your really worried, you prob shouldn't be eating it. You can assuage some of your guilt though, pomegranates and blueberries are both very high in anti-oxidants and cheese is high in calcium. There, its good for you. ha!

Enjoy!
Well heck, I was sold after reading "Pomegranate Blueberry Sauce!"

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