I have a friend who really hates orange-flavored things and she'll probably never be able to make any of my recipes because they all taste like oranges. Sorry Melanie! But actually what is wrong with you that you don't like oranges?! Because oranges are THE ACTUAL BEST.
Orange obsession aside...or rather continued...I wanted a way to spice up a very basic cheesecake recipe so blueberry compote and orange extract was the answer. I love a good fruit compote on cheesecake. It's just so special!
We bought a springform pan from IKEA ages ago and I had never actually used it until this recipe. Let me tell you friends: a springform pan really is vital when making cheesecake if you're going for the traditional aesthetic. If you don't mind serving your dessert from the pan, a pie pan will do just fine. Cheesecake is essentially a custard pie, so keep that in mind when choosing your cookware.
The other thing I want to mention is the importance of ensuring your ingredients are AT ROOM TEMPERATURE. This is life or death for baked goods! I am sooooo passionate about this! I am literally that Meryl Streep meme where she's cupping her mouth and shouting. Only I'm not saying something inspirational I'm yelling "ROOM TEMPERATURE EGGS!"
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (about 12 crackers)
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (optional, but wonderful)
1/8 teaspoon salt
1/3 cup melted butter
16 oz SOFTENED cream cheese
3/4 cup white sugar
2 ROOM TEMP eggs
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon orange extract
12 oz blueberries
2 tablespoons white sugar
lil splash of water (about 2 tablespoons)
1 medium sized orange (this will yield approximately 1 teaspoon of zest and 1 tablespoon of juice)
Pull your cream cheese and eggs out of the fridge so they can come to room temperature. Seriously if you don't do this I will literally show up at your house V angry.
Topping: Wash your berries and add them to a saucepan over medium heat. Stir in the sugar and water. Cover and bring to a slow boil. Remove the lid and turn the heat to low. Stir occasionally to prevent burning. Zest and juice your orange. Now let the steam cook off until you have a pudding-like consistency. Once the compote has thickened to this consistency, remove from heat and stir in the orange juice. You can add the zest now or sprinkle it on top later. Let cool.
Crust: Meanwhile, preheat your oven to 350 degrees and blend your graham crackers in a blender or food processor. You want a sand-like constancy. Measure out 1 1/2 cups in a bowl and mix in the cinnamon and salt. Melt the butter and add a little bit at a time to the graham cracker mixture. The tricky part here is ensuring the mixture is moldable without being too wet. Pat into the bottom of the pan using a bowl or a cup to gently press evenly into place.
Filling: Mix cream cheese and sugar together until smooth. Add the eggs, vanilla and orange extracts and mix again. You will absolutely need to scrape down the sides of the bowl a few times. Once everything is incorporated, gently add batter to pan. I used an inverted spatula to smooth the top out. Place the pan on a large cookie sheet before placing in the oven. This helps ensure your crust's bottom doesn't burn. Now bake in the oven for 30 minutes rotating the tray halfway through.
The filling will still be jiggly (such a fun word) when you pull it out, but that's okay because it will continue to cook as it cools. Let the cheesecake cool at room temp. Once it is cool, you can pop it in the fridge until you're ready to serve. Just before serving, remove from the pan (if you're using a springform pan) and pour cooled berry compote over top. You can sprinkle with orange zest or additional graham cracker chunks before serving.
Notes: I don't put extra sugar in my graham cracker crusts because like WHY? But you certainly could if that floats your boat. You could use this recipe here. Also I used fresh blueberries because they were on sale and ya girl loves a sale. You could also use frozen but you may need to use a larger quantity and simmer it for a bit longer. If blueberries aren't your thing (the aforementioned friend doesn't like blueberries either) any berry would work great in this recipe.
This recipe is actually super simple and easy to make. I hope you have as much fun making it as I did!
Lots of Love,