2016 Blueberry Cooking Contest
3rd Place - Adult Division
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss blueberries with brown sugar and maple syrup. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet (lined with foil for easy cleanup) and roast for 15 minutes or until juicy and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then pour, scraping all berries and their juices, into the bowl of a food processor or blender; puree until smooth and set aside. You should have about 1cup of puree (if you have more than that, feel free to set some aside to drizzle on the top of the cheesecake later).
2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan with removable bottom; line bottom with a round of parchment paper if desired.
3. Crush cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs; pulse to mix in almond meal, sugar, and salt until blended. Add butter and pulse until evenly moistened. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes or until set, then remove from oven and let cool completely.
4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
5. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat room temperature cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Add salt and flour and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary to be sure all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Add creme fraiche, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extracts, and pureed blueberries and mix until even in color and no white streaks remain (remember to scrape the bowl again!)
6. Pour batter into cooled crust. Place on a baking sheet and place in preheated oven. While cheesecake is baking, whisk together creme fraiche, sugar, and almond extract until smooth.
7· After about 45 to 50 minutes, when center of cheesecake is set but still barely jiggly, pour glaze on top of cheesecake, spreading into an even layer. Return to oven to bake for another 5 minutes, then let cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight or until ready to serve. Remove edges of springform pan and slice into 16 wedges; serve chilled or at room temperature, topped with fresh blueberries or leftover roasted blueberry puree if desired. Cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
*It is VERY important that all your refrigerated ingredients be at room temperature, this means your cream cheese, eggs, and creme fraiche. Doing so will ensure a silky smooth filling. I recommend taking your ingredients out of the fridge at least 2 hours before you bake, longer in cooler temperatures. **Creme fraiche is a french cultured cream similar to sour cream, though the flavor is slightly more mild and delicate. You can make your own quite easily, or substitute sour cream if you're unable to find it.