September 4, 2012

Blueberry Nectarine Cheesecake

Sometimes we bake for fun, sometimes for relaxation. Other times for service, or just plain sustenance.

Today I baked for sanity.

It's been a rough week. The closer we get to moving, the more delays we have. We literally won't know what day we're leaving until the day before. We could leave Sunday, or not until Tuesday. This is pretty hard on my brain, because I am in charge of the finances and logistics of the move. Stephen has enough to worry about with his thesis! But when you don't have a moving date, it is awfully hard to plan! This makes me angry.

Today was a two-cake day.

I needed something to WORK on. Luckily a friend brought me some peaches that needed to be used ASAP, so I added another cake to the one on the docket already. Put in headphones, got my new phone all set (I can use it as an iPod!!!) and blasted the loudest, angriest, most brain-filling music I have. Teenage April made an appearance for a while. She's angry. Very, very angry. She surfaces occasionally, usually only when I am so stressed or furious that I want to just break things. I used to go for a drive, listening to that angry music as loud as I could stand, until I either cried or sang all my anger out.

Now I bake! But cookies or muffins don't do it. It has to be something more awesome, more challenging. Cakes! So, cakes + angry music = April Therapy. After about 30 minutes of teenage fury, I lowered the crazyness level to the Prince of Egypt soundtrack. Gorgeous, passionate, deeply spiritual. Still enough power to keep up my therapy and motivation, but less anger. I'm sharing my favorite song with you; it's gorgeous, and the louder you listen to it, the better :) Don't worry!! This one is happy! My favorite part is the Hebrew at the end. It gives me goosebumps, and then I cry. Every time. (and I'm currently on my 3rd in a row...)

Okay, I can't help it, I have to share this one too. It's amazing.

I feel better. Anyone want some cake?? I need someone to give the rest to!

Blueberry Nectarine Cheesecake (adapted from Pip & Ebby)
Printable Recipe

15 cinnamon graham crackers, broken into pieces
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
Four 8-ounce packages cream cheese,
1 ½ cups granulated sugar
½ cup milk
4 large eggs
1 cup sour cream
2 teaspoons vanilla extract
1/3 cup all-purpose flour
1 pint fresh blueberries (2 cups)
4 nectarines, cut into thin slices
½ cup peach preserves
1 tsp fresh lemon juice

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 10-inch springform pan with cooking spray. (I lined the bottom with parchment too)

In the bowl of a food processor, add the graham crackers, 1/3 cup sugar and butter. Process until crumbs form and butter is combined. (Or crush the crackers and stir sugar and butter in!) Press crumbs into the bottom of springform pan.

Mix together the cream cheese and 1 ½ cups sugar until smooth. Blend in milk. Add eggs, one at a time, just until combined. Add the sour cream, vanilla and flour and mix until smooth. Add the blueberries and carefully mix in with a spoon until combined. Pour the filling into the prepared crust.

My adventure: I tried a 9-inch pan first. This makes a LOT of filling... which turns into a GIANT cheesecake!! if you aren't feeding a crowd... or plan on eating a lot of cheesecake... I recommend halving the recipe! It filled my 9-inch pan to the brim... so I whipped up a new crust and poured the batter into my 10-inch pan. Perfect fit!
Bake in the preheated oven for 1 hour and 5 minutes. Turn the oven off and allow cheesecake to cool while in the oven to prevent cracking. Chill the cheesecake in the refrigerator for 2 hours. (even longer is better!)
This is what it looks like if you are impatient and open the door a dozen times... Oh well! I'm covering it up :)

Top cheesecake with the nectarines. In a small bowl, stir the preserves and lemon juice together, and warm in the microwave for 30 seconds. Brush the warmed preserves over the nectarines. Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.
So pretty and summery! And yummy too! :)
The original uses peaches, but I love the tartness of nectarines. You can use either! Apricots would probably work too.
I'm pretty picky about basic cheesecakes, but this one is fabulous. It is creamy, NOT cakey, and the sour cream helps keep it from being overly sweet. Mmmm... I will admit, I had a slice for breakfast...
It really wasn't that hard, either. I think the key is that cooling stage... But as fancy as it looks, it was dead easy! Thank you Pip! (or Ebby...?)
Don't you just love recipes like that??

Shared at Totally Tasty Tuesdays


  1. That cake looks so delish. I'm your newest follower from the Link and Mingle. I'd love for you to stop by.

    Kimberly @

  2. Blueberries and nectarines - what's not to like? Have a great week!


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