Blueberry cheesecake is a beloved, classic dessert for many, so the introduction of ginger might prompt some to say, “Hey, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” or simply “Naw, dude.” But you’re going to have to trust me here.
There are several versions of this recipe out there, some incorporating the ginger into the crust by using gingersnap cookies instead of graham crackers and some using ginger marmalade in the blueberry sauce. My recipe uses fresh ginger, but just a tiny hint of it to give the sweet blueberry compote an ever-so-slight kick. It’s definitely not a punch of ginger flavor (which the spicy root often delivers), but more of a tap on the shoulder that gets your attention and perks up your taste buds. Instead of a “Whoa!” you’ll be saying, “Hmm, that’s really interesting” before eagerly going in for another bite. Recipe below. (Please pardon the appearance — I made this without a springform pan!)
Serves 10 to 12
2 1/3 cups graham crackers, broken down to crumbs
1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
1/4 cup sugar
4 8-oz. packages cream cheese, room temperature
1 cup sugar
1/4 cup all purpose flour
5 large eggs
1 16-oz. container sour cream
1/4 cup milk
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon lemon zest
1 cup blueberry spread
2 6-ounce baskets fresh blueberries
1 teaspoon fresh ginger, finely minced
1 teaspoon sugar
Position rack in center of oven and preheat to 375°F.
Butter the bottom and sides of a 10-inch-diameter springform pan and wrap the outside with aluminum foil.
Combine all ingredients in food processor and blend in pulses until crumbs are moist.
Press the crumb mixture onto the bottom of the pan (should come up about 2 inches in height).
Bake until crust begins to brown, about 8 minutes.
Set the crust aside to cool. Maintain oven temperature.
Using an electric stand mixer or hand mixer and a large mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar until will blended. Add the flour and beat to combine. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat until lightly combined. Beat in the sour cream, milk, vanilla extract, lemon juice, and lemon zest. When everything is well combined, pour the filling into the pan over the crust.
Place springform pan in a large roasting pan. Pour 1 inch of hot water into roasting pan.
Bake the cheesecake until just set in the center and the edges and top are slightly golden, about 1 hour.
Turn off oven, but keep the door closed, letting the cheesecake stand for 1 hour. Remove the cheesecake from the roasting pan and refrigerate until cold (about 6 hours). Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Toss the ginger with sugar in a large skillet and stir over low heat until the ginger is soft and fragrant (but do not burn).
Add the blueberry spread and stir over low heat until melted.
Remove from heat. Add the fresh blueberries and toss to coat.
Pour the blueberry mixture over the top of the cheesecake, spreading evenly and letting it drip down the sides.
Chill until cold (at least 1 hour).
Run a sharp knife around sides of cake to loosen before releasing the pan sides. Transfer cheesecake to platter and cut into wedges to serve.
Adapted from Epicurious.