BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE WITH SILVER ALMONDS
Good brands of cheesecake are so readily available that one can just buy one and decorate the top of it with blueberries, but here is an excellent recipe if homemade pie is wanted. This recipe has a good graham cracker crust. Blueberries are also in the cheesecake, not just on top. The silver almonds add a celebratory and decadent touch.
2 cups graham cracker crumbs
½ cup butter, softened
2 tablespoons brown sugar
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon sea salt
3 8-ounce packages of cream cheese, softened
1 cup granulated sugar
3 tablespoons white whole-wheat flour
½ teaspoon sea salt
3 eggs, beaten
8 ounces sour cream, softened to room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 teaspoon lemon zest
2½ cups blueberries
1 cup heavy whipping cream
¼ cup sour cream
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
11 candied silver almonds
Place the graham crackers in a food processor to make a soft crumb, and blend with the butter, brown sugar, and cinnamon. Press this mixture into the base of a buttered 10” round springform pan. Bake in a 350ºF. (180ºC.) oven for 5 to 6 minutes and set to cool.
In a medium bowl beat the eggs with the vanilla and lemon zest. Add the sugar and salt, and blend in the sour cream and cream cheese. Slowly fold in one cup of the blueberries, reserving 1½ cups for decoration. Don’t over mix, just enough to make blue swirls and distribute the fruit. Pour onto the crust and bake at 325ºF. (160ºC.) for 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow the cheesecake to cool to room temperature, and then chill in the refrigerator for 2 hours. While the cheesecake is cooling make the cream topping by whipping the cream until stiff peaks form, blending in the ¼ cup sour cream and chilling the mixture.
With 1¼ cups of the remaining blueberries and 1 tablespoon of sugar, in a small saucepan, simmer until half of the fruit breaks down and forms a sauce. Cool completely. When ready to serve, place the cheesecake on a serving platter with a small lip, as the sauce will spill over the cheesecake a little. Gently remove the sides of the spring form pan. Slowly pour the blueberry sauce over the entire top of the cheesecake. Over this, pipe the whipped and sour cream mixture into the shape of a six-sided star. Decorate with the remaining ¼ cup of fresh blueberries and the silver almonds all about the cake.
Butter, cream cheese, eggs, sour cream and whipped cream are of water. Graham cracker crumbs are of earth and wheat flour is air of earth. White and brown sugars are of air, blueberries and vanilla are water of air, and lemon zest and cinnamon are of fire. The silver almonds are whole almonds that have an edible silvery sugar coating over them. The almonds with their silvery coating are of air, and scattered about the cake, represent the starry heavens of Nuit.