Blueberry Cream Cheese Pie
This pie is a three-layer treat: a graham cracker crust; a baked cheesecake-like custard; and a thick, lightly simmered fresh blueberry topping. For the best results, choose full-fat cream cheese over reduced-fat or nonfat varieties.
For the crust:
- 2 cups (7 oz./220 g) graham cracker crumbs
- 2 Tbs. sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
For the filling:
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup (4 oz./125 g) sugar
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 2 eggs
- 1/2 lb. (250 g) fresh blueberries (about 2 cups)
- 1 1/2 Tbs. cornstarch mixed with 2 Tbs. water
Preheat an oven to 325°F (165°C).
To make the crust, in a bowl, stir together the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and salt. Add the melted butter and stir until blended. Pat the crumb mixture evenly into a 9-inch (23-cm) pie pan and up the sides. Bake until slightly firm, about 8 minutes. Let cool completely on a wire rack, about 30 minutes.
To make the filling, using an electric mixer, beat together the cream cheese, 1/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) of the sugar and the vanilla on medium speed until thoroughly blended and smooth, 3 to 5 minutes. Add the eggs 1 at a time and beat until well blended. Pour the filling into the crust and spread evenly.
Bake until the custard is just set, 25 to 30 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack for about 1 hour.
Meanwhile, in a saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the blueberries, 1/2 cup (4 fl. oz./125 ml) water and the remaining 1/4 cup (3 oz./90 g) sugar. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium-low, cover and simmer, stirring once, until the liquid is slightly reduced, about 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the cornstarch mixture. Return to medium-high heat, bring to a boil and cook, stirring constantly, until thickened, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and let cool until lukewarm, about 30 minutes.
Spoon the berries over the custard. Refrigerate the pie for at least 1 hour and up to 24 hours before serving. Serves 8.
Adapted from Williams Sonoma Luscious Fruit Desserts (Weldon Owen, 2015)