As I’ve mentioned on previous occasions (for example, when making my pavlova cake with lemon mascarpone and raspberry coulis), berries sold in Perth are a ridiculously expensive commodity.
I really don’t understand why this should be so, as I would have thought the climate in southern Western Australia would be perfect for growing bountiful crops of blueberries and raspberries. But the fact remains that a bank loan is normally required to purchase these exclusive fruits.
However, we were recently treated to a small window of affordability when our local supermarket delivered a surprisingly good deal on blueberries. And not just any old blueberries – blueberries that looked as if they’d got their hands on somebody’s steroid stash…
Giant mutant blueberries.
These beauties required some special treatment, and although I first contemplated a blueberry and yoghurt cake it just didn’t seem luxurious enough.
Cue the drum roll for my favourite dessert of all time… Cheesecake. Blueberries lightly poached in a glossy, velvety syrup and drizzled over the top? YES PLEASE.
The added bonus of this recipe is that it’s so quick and doesn’t require baking (which worked out very well considering the recent heat wave we’ve been experiencing).
Interestingly, I hadn’t ever used arrowroot before but it worked brilliantly for thickening the blueberry syrup and giving it a glossy sheen. I’ll definitely be using this ingredient again in future.
no-bake blueberry cheesecake
adapted from the september 2013 issue of delicious. magazine
250g shortbread biscuits
80g unsalted butter, melted
250g cream cheese, softened
½ cup caster sugar
2 vanilla pods, split lengthwise and seeds scraped
1 cup blueberries
1 tsp arrowroot
If you happen to be blessed with a food processor, whiz the shortbread in one until finely ground. Add the butter and whiz once again until combined.
Alternatively – if you’re still waiting for Father Christmas to bring you said food processor – place the biscuits in one of those nifty snap-lock sandwich bags and bash the beejesus out of them with a rolling pin until finely ground. Tip the ground shortbread into a bowl, add the melted butter and mix thoroughly until the butter is evenly distributed.
Press firmly into a rectangular tart pan (using the back of a spoon helps) and chill for 15 minutes until firm.
Beat the cream cheese, mascarpone, scraped vanilla seeds and half the caster sugar with electric beaters until smooth and combined. Carefully spread in the biscuit base and chill for an hour or so until set.
Meanwhile, place half the blueberries, remaining sugar and ¼ cup of water in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook, stirring, for 5 – 10 minutes until the berries start to burst and the syrup has reduced. Stir through the remaining blueberries and reduce the heat to low.
Mix the arrowroot with a little cold water in a small bowl. Stir into the berries and cook for a further 30 seconds or until the sauce has thickened. Remove from the heat and cool completely.
When ready to serve, remove the cheesecake from the tart pan and drizzle the blueberry sauce over the top.