Last week we had a friend for dinner and so I made a reasonably good dinner. Nothing out of the ordinary. I’ll discuss that dinner in a future blog. But really, the best part of dinner was dessert! With just an hour before our guest arrived I realized I didn’t have anything for dessert. I spent all my energy on dinner. Yikes. I did a quick scan of what I had available and quickly tried to figure out what I could make.
So, a quick gathering of ingredients; graham crumbs, cream cheese, frozen wild blueberries, whipping cream. Surely I could make something out of all this! What resulted was a beautiful blueberry dessert. I posted a picture on the “Nosh with Nash” facebook page and asked for suggestions on a name. A follower suggested “blue heaven” and I liked that. So I expanded that name a bit and that’s how I got “Blueberry Heaven”. Ready for it? Here we go!
You’re going to need:
1 1/2 c graham crumbs
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/2 c unsalted butter, melted
8 oz cream cheese – save a few calories and use light!
2 large eggs
1 tsp vanilla
3 c frozen (or fresh when they are in season!!) wild blueberries
1/2 c water
1 tbsp lemon juice
4 tsp cornstarch
1/2 c cold water
1 c whipping cream
1 tbsp sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Preheat your oven to 325F.
Combine about 1-1 1/2 c of graham crumbs with 1 tbsp of sugar and 1/4 tsp of cinnamon. Toss those together and then mixed in 1/2 c unsalted butter, melted. Toss together and press into the 9×13 dish. Pop that in the oven and bake at 325 for about 10 minutes to set the crumbs. What would be really nice is to use digestive biscuits instead! It’s a lighter flavour and a different texture. I’ll use that next time, but like I said, I used what I had on hand!
While the base is in the oven, let’s get going on the next layer!
This is a cheese layer! Mix the cream cheese until it’s smooth (be sure it’s softened at room temp – don’t microwave it, it gets too warm way too quick!). whisk in the sugar, eggs, and vanilla. Make sure these are all well combined. Pour this over the warm crumb base and pop it back in the oven, still at 325, for another 20 minutes. This will give you a thin ‘cheese cake’ layer. Let it cool.
While the cheese cake layer is cooling, let’s get the best part going… the blueberries! If you know anything about me at all, you will know that I eat blueberries year round. I love it when the wild blueberries are in season, but the rest of the year I suck it up and eat the other ones, those big monster sized berries without the flavour bursts and sweetness of the wild ones! Blueberries… all year! But really you need to use the wild ones when you are cooking/baking because you really need that concentrated flavour!
Okay, the blueberries….
Combine the first four ingredients from the blueberry list above and slowly bring to a boil. Dissolve the cornstarch into the final 1/2 c cold water then stir this into the blueberries mixture. Continuing stirring until it’s thickened nicely and pour over the cream cheese layer.
Now, this part is important… and obvious…. cool this completely! I had to sit the dessert outside on our back step to cool or we wouldn’t have had it in time for dessert! When it’s cool, we’re ready for the final layer.
Well, whip the cream with the sugar, cinnamon, and vanilla. Adding the cinnamon is a nice touch! Trust me! This is optional of course, but try it!!! Spread it over the cooled blueberry layer and you can continue to refrigerate until you are ready to serve. For me, that was immediately! But you could make this dessert earlier in the day and have it all ready to cut and serve! However, if you make this dessert the day before don’t use the whipped cream until you are ready to serve it. I garnished it with a couple of fresh raspberries per slice. But, if wild blueberries are in season (July-August) use those. If they are not in season then use those biggie blue berries that you can get year round. If I had fresh mint in my fridge, or garden, I’d use a small sprig on each slice as well! Takes it from “dessert” to “GOURMET dessert” 🙂
This dessert should feed about 12 people! There were THREE of us for dinner. Must admit, we all had seconds… so that’s 6. We still had, literally, half a pan leftover, much to my husband’s delight!
Enjoy! You’ll understand why I like the name Blueberry Heaven! Thank you Carol (Florida blog follower) for the name!
If you make it, please please send me a picture! I’d love to see it and would love to hear how you liked it too!