Hardly Melancholy

This time of the year, "feeling blue" doesn't refer to being depressed. Instead, it's all about the beginning of blueberry season! Ripe, plump blueberries carry a fantastic sweetness that gets cheers in my home. So rather than fuss with a lot of desserts that don't quite showcase them well, we opt to crown a simple cheesecake pie with fresh blueberries and a sweet syrup made from blueberry juice!

Instead of juicing the blueberries by hand, you could use a juicer. You could also look for a maker of blueberry juice that is listed as 100% juice and uses mostly blueberries in the juice mix. There is a maker that's readily available at one of our local produce markets, but I'm a bit of a fan of juicing my own berries, in part because it makes the kitchen smell so good. You could, of course, skip the blueberry syrup or even the blueberries, but I highly recommend enjoying it this way at least once.

That said, the cheesecake pie is a keeper on its own. Ready for the addition of chocolate chips, any number of toppings, and even a bit of cocoa powder along with the powdered sugar, it's a super-fast recipe that delivers every time. Definitely one to keep on hand for quite entertaining.

So feel free to feel blue. It's enough to make a girl smile!

Fresh Blueberry Cheesecake Pie

For the pie:
  • 10 oz. lowfat cream cheese
  • 6 oz. nondairy whipped topping, thawed
  • 1/3 c. powdered sugar
  • 1 - 9-inch graham cracker crust
For the topping:
  • 4 cups fresh blueberries, washed and divided
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 T. lemon juice

In a mixer bowl, combine the cream cheese, nondairy whipped topping, and powdered sugar. Beat on low speed to mix the powdered sugar in and then on medium-high speed for 3 minutes or until thoroughly combined. Using a spatula, pour and smooth the mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust. Cover and chill for at least two hours before serving. Make the blueberry syrup while the pie chills.

To make the blueberry syrup, place 2 1/2 cups of blueberries and 1/2 cup of the water in a medium pot. Using a potato masher or heavy spoon, crush the berries.

Over medium-high heat, bring the berries and water to a boil, then lower the temperature to medium-low. Simmer the berries for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. They will darken considerably.

Remove the pot from heat and ladle the berries into a fine sieve set over a heat-proof bowl or measuring cup. Using the back of a smaller ladle, press on the berry solids to extract as much juice as possible. Discard the solids.

Wash out your pot, then add the remaining 1 cup of water and the sugar. Bring the mixture to a boil and boil rapidly for about 15 minutes until the mixture thickens (or reaches 225°F).

Add the blueberry juice and lemon juice and stir to combine. Boil another minute or two. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Can be stored in the refrigerator for up to six months.

To serve, sprinkle the reserved 1 1/2 cups of fresh blueberries over the pie and drizzle generously with the blueberry syrup.

  • Yields: 8 servings
  • Preparation Time: 1 hour plus chilling time