No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

In the heat of summer, I am always looking for fun low (or no) cook ways to…

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In the heat of summer, I am always looking for fun low (or no) cook ways to make and enjoy a little dessert. Give me all of your icebox cakes, no bake bars, and no bake cheesecakes! No bake cheesecake has all of the rich cream cheese flavor of it’s baked counterpart, but it is a bit lighter in texture and so easy to make. There are no water baths to fuss with and no worry about the top splitting on you.

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This no bake cheese cake is a great base for all sorts of summer fruit, but it would also be delicious with caramel or chocolate drizzled over the top instead. This version uses a literal heap of gorgeous fresh blueberries.

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The salty pretzel and nutty browned butter crust comes together quickly too, no baking required. It also ensures that the whole dessert is nice and balanced, and not too sweet. For a sweeter version feel free to substitute graham cracker or biscoff cookie crumbs for the preztels. You could even skip browning the butter in favor of just melting it, but the browned butter adds a ton of great flavor so I wouldn’t!

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The topping is a combination of fresh and cooked blueberries, the cooked ones make it a little saucy and help the blueberries stick together instead of sliding all over the place. I topped the whole thing with a few small leaves from my basil plant that look little little blueberry leaves. Mint would work too but the herbs are totally optional.


No Bake Blueberry Cheesecake

Salty pretzels make a perfect base for this not to sweet cheesecake, but you could use graham crackers or biscoff cookie crumbs for a sweeter version - use gluten free cookies to make this desert for your gluten avoiding friends and family. The blueberry topping is partially cooked which creates some sauciness that helps the blueberries stick together, but if that’s a bridge too far for lazy summer cooking, you can just pile the top with lots of fresh blueberries. They may roll of when you slice it though!

 

Crust

175g/ 1 1/2 cups finely ground pretzels

50g/ 1/4 cup granulated sugar

340g/12 tablespoons unsalted butter

Filling

450g/ 1 pound cream cheese, at room temperature

100g/ 1/2 cup granulated sugar

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon vanilla paste or extract

240ml/ 1 cup heavy cream, cold

Topping

490g/ 3 1/2 cups blueberries

1 tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoon cornstarch

Mint or basil leaves if desired


To make the crust: Combine the pretzels and sugar in a large bowl. Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Cook the butter while scraping the bottom and sides of the pan occasionally with a rubber spatula. The butter will foam, then the solids will turn deep golden brown and smell nutty. Once the butter has browned pour it over the pretzels in the bowl then stir to combine. Let the mixture cool for a minute or two then pour it into a 9-inch pie pan. Carefully press it evenly on the bottom and up the sides of the pan, a 1/3 cup measure is a great tool for this. Set the pan in the freezer while you prepare the filling.

To make the filling: In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment mix the cream cheese and sugar on low speed until combined. Turn the mixer up to medium and beat until smooth and fluffy, about 3 minutes. Scrape the bottom and sides of the bowl occasionally to ensure even mixing. 

Add the vanilla and lemon and stir to combine.

Switch to the whisk attachment and with the mixer on low, add the heavy cream. Turn the mixer up to medium high and whip until the mixture comes to stiff peaks, about 3 minutes.

Spoon the filling into the chilled crust and smooth the top. Refrigerate for about 8 hours or overnight. 

To make the topping: When you are ready to serve the cheesecake put 280g/2 cups of the blueberries in a large bowl and set aside. Combine 140g/1 cup of the blueberries, 2 tablespoons of water, and 1 tablespoon sugar in a saucepan over medium heat. Cover the pot and cook until the blueberries have burst and released their juices, about 2 minutes. 

In a small bowl stir the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of water, slowly pour it into the blueberry mixture in the pot while stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring constantly for 45 seconds, until thick and glossy.

Pour the mixture over the blueberries in the bowl and stir to combine. Pour the blueberries over the chilled cheesecake and scatter the remaining 70g/ 1/2 cup blueberries over the top. Sprinkle mint or basil over the top and let the pie sit for a few minutes before slicing. Store leftovers in the fridge for a few days.  

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Cranberry and Apple Cider Caramel Pie

This Cranberry and Apple Cider Caramel Pie is a perfect Fall treat. With a crisp, tender all butter crust, this lattice topped beauty would be perfect at any holiday table.

This Cranberry and Apple Cider Caramel Pie is a perfect Fall treat. With a crisp, tender all butter crust, this lattice topped beauty would be perfect at any holiday table.

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I’ve partnered with Bob’s Red Mill and Bake from Scratch magazine to be part of their Better Baking Academy this year, and I’m talking about one of my favorite subjects - Lattice Topped Pie. Each month they share a new recipe with lots of in-depth step-by-step photos tricks and tips. Head over to Bake from Scratch to see their technique for adding lattice to the top of a custard pie. 

For this recipe, I went with some of my favorite fall fruits - apples and cranberries with a generous amount of apple cider caramel mixed in. The caramel is also delicious on its own or on top of ice cream, I’m sure you’ll find a way to use it. 

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Lattice topped pies can seem intimidating because at first glance, but once you try it, you realize it’s not as scary as it seems. Here are some tips for pie dough success!

Some Pie Dough Tips

  • Keep everything cold. That means making sure your butter is cold and cubed and the water is icy. You can even chill your bowl and flour if you want to go the extra mile. I usually don’t do this because I work quickly, but it’s a great way to buy yourself some extra chilled time. 

  • Hydrate the dough properly. Add enough water to the dough so it holds together easily, but not so much that it’s wet. Dry dough is a pain to work with because it will fall apart on you and wet dough will be tough and chewy. If you have any dry spots in your dough you can sprinkle a few drops of water just in that spot to hydrate. 

  • Don’t overmix. Make sure that the dough is well and evenly mixed, you can even knead it a few times, but don’t go crazy and knead it like bread dough. You want to press it together firmly, while making sure there are distinct flat bits of butter in the dough that will puff up and make it flaky.

  • Let it rest. Give the dough some time to relax and hydrate. It will make the dough easier to roll out and flakier in the end.

  • Keep it cool (again). There is nothing more frustrating than trying to maneuver warm, melty, falling apart dough into a woven pattern. If they are tearing on you and you get frustrated, try transferring all of the lattice strips to a parchment lined baking sheet to chill for a few minutes while you gather your composure. Better yet, do this before you start weaving if you are worried about it. 

  •  Have Fun! Don’t worry about it too much! No one will notice if your strips aren’t all the same size! Add some decorative cutouts if you are feeling it!

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This filling combines some of my favorite fall flavors into a gorgeous and delicious holiday showstopper. The cider caramel is just as good on its own as it is combined with these gorgeous fall fruits. Make sure to save the extra to drizzle on top of the warm slices of pie. 

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Sponsored Post: This post was created in partnership with Bob’s Red Mill and Bake from Scratch magazine.


Cranberry and Apple Cider Caramel Pie

 Dough adapted from Bake from Scratch magazine

Pie Dough 

Makes 1 (9-inch) double crust

 4 cups (500 grams) Bob’s Red Mill Organic All-Purpose Flour

1/4 cup (50 grams) granulated sugar

1 tablespoon (9 grams) kosher salt

1 1/3 cup (303 grams) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1-inch cubes

13 to 14 tablespoons (195 to 210 grams) ice water

 

Cider Caramel

Makes about 1 1/2 cups 

 1 cup (200 grams) sugar

1/4 cup (60 grams) water

1/4 cup (60 grams) butter

1/2 cup (120 grams) heavy cream

1/4 cup ( 72 grams) boiled cider syrup (see note)

1 teaspoon (4 grams) vanilla extract

1/2 teaspoon (1.5 grams) kosher salt

  

Filling

 3 medium baking apples  like mutsu or honey crisp (about 450 grams), peeled and thinly sliced

3 cups (345 grams) cranberries

1/2 cup (100 grams) sugar

4 tablespoons (32 grams) cornstarch 

2 teaspoons (4 grams) cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch salt

1/2 cup (125 grams) cider caramel

Make the dough: In a large bowl, stir together flour, sugar, and salt. Using your fingers to press and cut in each piece of cold butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and butter is pea-size to walnut-size, flat shards. Make a well in center, and add 13 tablespoons (195 grams) ice water. Stir with fingers, and knead dough together just until dry ingredients are moistened. Add additional 1 tablespoon (25 grams) water if needed. Alternatively, in the work bowl of a food processor, place flour, sugar, and salt; pulse until combined. Add cold butter, and pulse until mixture resembles coarse crumbs and butter is pea-size. With processor running, pour 13 tablespoons (195 grams) ice water through food chute in a slow, steady stream just until dough comes together. (Mixture may appear crumbly. It should be moist and hold together when pinched.) Add additional 1 tablespoon (25 grams) water if needed.

Turn out dough, and divide in half (about 530 grams each). Shape each half into a disk. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. Dough may be refrigerated for up to 3 days or frozen for up to 2 months.

Make the cider caramel: Combine the sugar, water, and butter in a medium saucepan. Cook over medium heat, swirling the pan occasionally, until the sugar melts and turns deep amber in color , about 10-15 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat then carefully whisk in the cream, cider syrup, vanilla, and salt. Mixture will bubble vigorously. Let the sauce cool to room temperature before using.

Assemble the pie: On a lightly floured surface, roll half of Pie Dough into a 13 1/2-inch circle (3/16-inch thick). Transfer to a 9-inch pie plate, pressing into bottom and up sides. Freeze until firm, 20 to 30 minutes.

Prepare the filling: In a large bowl combine the sliced apples, cranberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Toss gently to combine. Drizzle the caramel over the top and stir gently.

Assemble the pie: Transfer the filling into the chilled pie dough and press gently to compact the fruit. 

On a lightly floured surface, roll remaining Pie Dough into a 14-inch circle (1/8 inch thick). Using a pastry wheel, cut 2 inches off one side of dough; set aside. Starting at cut edge, cut 12 (3/4-inch-wide) strips; set aside any unused rolled-out Pie Dough. Place 6 strips horizontally over the filling. Fold back alternating strips, and place 1 strip vertically across horizontal strips; unfold strips. Repeat weaving with remaining strips, starting and ending at 1-inch marks and spacing strips 3/4 inch apart. Using kitchen scissors, trim strips even with the bottom crust, leaving about 1/2-inch overhang. Roll the bottom crust up and over the trimmed lattice and press gently. Use a fork dipped in flour to press the rolled edge down onto the pie pan. Use scissors to trim the fork-crimped edge flush with the pie pan. Place the pie on a baking sheet. 

 If desired, use small decorative cutters or scissors to cut remaining rolled-out Pie Dough and scraps and place on baking sheet around the pie. Refrigerate until firm and ready to use, 20 to 30 minutes.

Bake the pie: Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C) with a rack set in the bottom third. 

 In a small bowl, whisk together 1 egg (50 grams) and 1 teaspoon (5 grams) water. Brush lattice with egg wash. Brush bottom of each cutout with egg wash, one at a time, and place around outside edge of lattice, overlapping slightly. Brush tops of cutouts with egg wash. 

Bake the pie for about 1 hour or until it is deep golden brown and the juices are bubbling. If the edges begin to darken before the filling is bubbling, tent the edges with aluminum foil. Let cool before slicing. Serve with additional cider caramel sauce.


Note: Boiled cider can be purchased or you can make your own. For this recipe, add 4 cups of apple cider to a large pot set over high heat. Bring the mixture to a full boil, and cook until reduced to 1/2 cup, stirring occasionally. This will take about 30 minutes but keep a close eye on it. It will darken slightly and thicken to the consistency of thin honey when ready.

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Chocolate Mousse Tart with Browned Butter Oat Crust | Raaka Baking Chocolate

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One of my very favorite chocolate makers in NYC, Raaka Chocolate, is launching a new line of baking chocolate today! They are starting with two delicious varieties,  Oat Milk 58% cacao that I used in this chocolate mousse tart and Maple Dark 75% cacao. They will launch two more varieties in the coming weeks, and they have cacao powder and cacao nibs too! I got a sneak peek of all four varieties and I have enjoyed baking with (and just plain eating) these little chocolate discs so much. 

This decadent Chocolate Mousse Tart with Browned Butter Oat Crust is definitely fit for a special occasion, but isn’t too tricky to put together. The crust is the easy-peasy pat in the pan variety and the mousse is just as good on its own as it is in this buttery, crisp, toasty crust. You could even just make the chocolate mousse and skip the crust all together, but don’t skip the billowy whipped cream! 

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 Raaka Chocolate is unroasted which highlights all of the natural fruitiness of cacao so it’s flavor profile might be a little different than your everyday chocolate, and it is so, so tasty. They are also a company that values the community of growers, producers, and makers whose livelihoods depend on cacao and chocolate and are very transparent about their sourcing practices. You can read all about it on their website. Let me know if you try it!

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 This post was sponsored by Raaka Chocolate.


Oat Milk Chocolate Mousse Tart with Browned Butter Oat Crust

Makes one 9-inch tart

This decadent chocolate tart is more than the sum of its parts. The toasty-oaty crust provides a perfect base for rich and decadent chocolate mousse made with Raaka’s sublimely delicious Oat Milk chocolate. The mousse is delicious on its own for gluten free folks too. 

Browned Butter Oat Crust

1/2 cup (115g) unsalted butter

2/3 cup (60g) rolled oats

1 cup (130g) all purpose flour

1/3 cup (35g) confectioner’s sugar

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Water, as needed

Oat Milk Chocolate Mousse

2 tablespoons granulated sugar

2 tablespoons strong coffee or coffee liqueur

3 large egg yolks

Pinch salt

4 ounces Raaka Oat Milk Chocolate finely chopped, plus a little more to garnish

1 1/4 cups heavy cream, divided

Heat your oven to 375ºF and lightly grease a 9-inch removable bottom tart pan.

Brown the butter: Melt the butter in a small saucepan set over medium heat. Make sure to use a pan with a light colored interior so you can see the milk solids change color. Continue to cook the butter, stirring occasionally, scraping the milk solids off of the bottom and sides of the pan as necessary. After a few minutes the milk solids should turn golden brown and smell toasty. Transfer the toasty browned butter to a heat safe container and let it cool slightly.

Add the oats to the bowl of a food processor and pulse a few times until the oats are broken up a bit. Add the flour, confectioners sugar, and salt and pulse about 10 times or until the mixture looks like coarse sand. Drizzle the butter into the mixture and pulse until combined. The mixture should hold together easily when you squeeze it in your hands. If it seems very dry, add water 1 teaspoon at a time until it holds together.

Pour the mixture into the prepared tart pan and press it evenly into the bottom and sides of the pan. Use the bottom of a measuring cup to make the crust smooth and even. Bake the crust until it is golden brown, 20-25 minutes. Set it on a rack to cool completely.

When the shell is cool, make the mousse. 

Whisk 3/4 cup of the heavy cream to soft peaks and store in the refrigerator while you make the rest of the mousse.

Set a heatsafe bowl over a pan of simmering water to make a double boiler. Add the sugar, coffee, egg yolks, and a pinch of salt to the bowl and whisk the mixture until it is very hot to the touch (about 160ºF), pale yellow and doubled in volume. 

Add the chopped chocolate and whisk until smooth. Off of the heat, add a heaping spoonful of the whipped cream and whisk it into the chocolate mixture to lighten it a bit. Add the rest of the whipped cream and gently fold to combine. Pour the mousse into the cooled shell, smooth the top, and refrigerate until firm, about one hour. Just before serving whip the remaining 1/2 cup cream to soft peaks dollop it over the mousse. Grate a bit more chocolate over the top and serve.

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