Roasted Blueberry Crème Fraîche Cheesecake

Taylor is not cheesecake’s biggest fan. He says that even the best cheesecake is only a C+ dessert (whereas even a bad chocolate cake is more enjoyable in his mind). And I’ll admit that I will always turn to the chocolate desserts on restaurant menus over the cheesecake.

But when I got an inkling to make a purple cheesecake, one bursting with blueberry flavor, I wasn’t expecting it to be quite this good.

To say this cheesecake was a labor of love would be an understatement. It took me 3 tries before I finally got it right (and even then I was on the verge of failure). Copious amounts of love, stress, and blueberries went into this recipe.

But, boy, was it worth it in the end, when I finally reached cheesecake nirvana: that moment when your fork slices through the silky smooth cake like butter, each bite stunningly purple, luxuriously creamy, with an underlying rich blueberry flavor; the perfect balance of tartness and sweet.

Roasted Blueberry Crème Fraîche Cheesecake

My first attempt incorporated fresh pureed berries, but they turned the cake itself a sad shade of bluish gray that was less than appetizing. Even with a hearty dose of food coloring, the color (nor the [lack-of] flavor) wasn’t quite what I envisioned.

But as I learned with this roasted blueberry ice cream, the act of roasting the berries greatly intensifies both the color and flavor. It’s the secret to coaxing out the best of this perplexing little berry. So I doubled the amount of berries and roasted them down with a bit of maple syrup until they were bubbling with flavorful juices. The pureed roasted berries are what give this cheesecake its vibrant color: no food coloring necessary.

Roasted Blueberry Crème Fraîche Cheesecake

My second cheesecake was perfect in that respect, the base at least, but I decided it needed a glaze. So I topped my perfectly purple cheesecake with a simple powdered sugar glaze (the kind you’d drizzle on cinnamon rolls or spread on sugar cookies), even going so far as to swirl in a bit of blueberry for color, and waited for it to set.

Except it didn’t set. On the surface, maybe, the glaze deceivingly crusting over, but underneath lay a molten mass that no amount of time or patience or hasty refrigeration could fix.

I finally got impatient and sliced into it, hoping for the best. I barely got the slice to the table before it started oozing. And it continued to ooze like the wicked witch of the west, dropping dollops of viscous glaze onto every surface within reach.

I almost gave up, right then and there, but I could still see the potential this cake had, even under all that gooey glaze.

For my third attempt (the reason we had to go back and pick more berries in the first palce, because I refused to give up on this recipe), I made a simple glaze with crème fraîche, sugar, and almond extract, that gets poured onto the almost-done cheesecake and then baked for a final 5 minutes, allowing the glaze to set up and slice cleanly, just as I had envisioned.

It would have been perfect, except I had baked the cheesecake in a regular cake pan instead of a springform. Which is a technique that, granted, produces perfect, crack-free cheesecakes, but also requires you invert the cake to get it out of the darn thing.

Inversion + glaze = potential mess.

Taylor was bracing himself for a third round of failures and a very cranky wife. Luckily the cake came out surprisingly clean with a bit of coaxing, only minor blemishes on top (easily camouflaged by some plump fresh berries).

Needless to say I’d recommend using a springform pan for this one to keep its pristine layers in tact.

Blueberry Crème Fraîche Cheesecake

Roasted Blueberry Crème Fraîche Cheesecake

The crème fraîche, both in the cheesecake itself and the glaze on top, contributes to its perfectly silky texture and subtle sour sweetness. Crème fraîche being a French cultured cream, I’d call this cheesecake very cultured, indeed.

You can use sour cream if you like, but the crème fraîche has a more milder, refined flavor that perfectly balances the richness of the cream cheese, and it’s worth the cost if you can find it (or, hey, make it yourself!)

Roasted Blueberry Crème Fraîche Cheesecake

You can top the cake with more fresh berries or even drizzle some extra roasted blueberry goodness on top for an extra dose of blueberry flavor.

And then go back for another slice.

Blueberry Crème Fraîche Cheesecake

Yield: 16 servings

Cook Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 12 hours

Ingredients:

  • 15 ounces (about 3 cups) fresh blueberries
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon pure maple syrup

For Crust:

  • 1 1/2 cups vanilla wafer cookie crumbs (from about 7 ounces)
  • 1/4 cup almond meal or finely ground almonds
  • 2 tablespoons brown sugar
  • pinch salt
  • 5 tablespoons butter, melted

For Filling:

  • 16 ounces full-fat cream cheese, room temperature*
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature
  • 2/3 cup crème fraîche** or sour cream, room temperature
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
  • 3/4 teaspoon almond extract

For Glaze:

  • 1 cup crème fraîche or sour cream
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon almond extract

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Toss blueberries with brown sugar and maple syrup. Spread onto a rimmed baking sheet (lined with foil for easy cleanup) and roast for 15 minutes or until juicy and bubbly. Remove from oven and let cool for 10 to 15 minutes, then pour, scraping all berries and their juices, into the bowl of a food processor or blender; puree until smooth and set aside. You should have about 1 cup of puree (if you have more than that, feel free to set some aside to drizzle on the top of the cheesecake later).
  2. Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees F. Butter a 9-inch cake pan with removable bottom; line bottom with a round of parchment paper if desired.
  3. Crush cookies in a food processor until fine crumbs; pulse to mix in almond meal, sugar, and salt until blended. Add butter and pulse until evenly moistened. Press into bottom of prepared pan. Bake crust for 10 minutes or until set, then remove from oven and let cool completely.
  4. Reduce oven temperature to 325 degrees F.
  5. In a large mixing bowl or the bowl of a stand mixer, beat room temperature cream cheese with sugar until smooth. Add salt and flour and mix well. Add eggs, one at a time, mixing well after each addition and scraping down the sides of the bowl as necessary to be sure all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Add crème fraîche, lemon juice, vanilla and almond extracts, and pureed blueberries and mix until even in color and no white streaks remain (remember to scrape the bowl again!)
  6. Pour batter into cooled crust. Place on a baking sheet and place in preheated oven. While cheesecake is baking, whisk together crème fraîche, sugar, and almond extract until smooth.
  7. After about 45 to 50 minutes, when center of cheesecake is set but still barely jiggly, pour glaze on top of cheesecake, spreading into an even layer. Return to oven to bake for another 5 minutes, then let cool on a wire rack to room temperature. Refrigerate overnight or until ready to serve. Remove edges of springform pan and slice into 16 wedges; serve chilled or at room temperature, topped with fresh blueberries or leftover roasted blueberry puree if desired. Cheesecake will keep in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

*It is VERY important that all your refrigerated ingredients be at room temperature, this means your cream cheese, eggs, and crème fraîche. Doing so will ensure a silky smooth filling. I recommend taking your ingredients out of the fridge at least 2 hours before you bake, longer in cooler temperatures.

**Crème fraîche is a french cultured cream similar to sour cream, though the flavor is slightly more mild and delicate. You can make your own quite easily, or substitute sour cream if you’re unable to find it.

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70 Comments Leave a Comment »

  1. Your dedication to getting this recipe to work as you saw it in your mind was incredible…and…now we all get to admire this GORGEOUS cheesecake! The color is just breathtaking and wit the white creme fraiche layer as contrast, so eye-catching!

  2. It looks like the struggle was well worth it! Wow! So gorgeous and I love the idea of roasting the berries first – genius.

  3. What a gorgeous dessert! I agree, roasted blueberries are just perfect for desserts like this one. Love the color :)

  4. Sweet baby Jesus, this is almost too much beauty for one post. ALL THE PURPLE CHEESECAKE!! I love it. Cheesecake is already one of my all-time favorites (hi alien Taylor), but that creamy layer on top of this might even beat the cheesecake part.

  5. This is STUNNING Lindsay! That top layer. Reminds me the cakes that the pastry students at culinary school used to make! And those plates, and everything, they go perfectly!!! :)

  6. This is the prettiest cheesecake I’ve ever seen! I love that you got it to work with the roasted blueberries and no food coloring. I’m so going to try this the next time I get some fresh blueberries!

  7. Cheesecakes are my favorite dessert! The colors are so vibrant. Pinning:)

  8. Hello, gorgeous purple cheesecake! Pinned!

  9. So glad you didn’t give up on this cheesecake, Lindsay. It looks stunning! I can’t wait to try this out. I love sour cream topping on my cheesecakes, but creme fraiche sounds great too!

  10. 3 tries is absolutely a labor of love! But it looks like you nailed it. I can’t wait to make this purple beauty in my own kitchen!

  11. Gasp, I adore cheesecake! And I also love purple so of course I need this.

  12. These layers are so perfect, plus the contrast between the whites and the purples are amazing! This is officially going on my ‘to bake’ list.

  13. Wow, this is seriously the most beautiful cheesecake I’ve seen. Can’t wait to try making it (and the roasted blueberry ice cream)!  I appreciate all the effort and love you poured into this recipe!

  14. This is STUNNING!! I am beyond pumped to try making it myself for my family’s next party. :)

  15. beautiful and creative cheesecake!

  16. Oh, this cake is GORGEOUS, Lindsay! What a beautiful, vibrant shade of purple/blue it is! <3 xoxo

  17. I cannot get over how pretty this looks! Really. Also, I adore blueberries, so I am saving this post. Thanks :)
    x M.

  18. This looks amazingly delicious. In my book any cheesecake is A+ for desserts- I’d pass up chocolate over cheesecake any day! I would love to make this but just have a question- I’m allergic to any form of almond. What would you suggest using in it’s place for the crust? I’ll use vanilla extract for the topping.

    Thanks- Tiffany

  19. I love cheesecake with a passion but making it is a pain, I know how you feel! And I love fruity cheesecakes, it balances out the richness. Love this recipe!!

  20. OH MY GOSH! This looks like something I’d lick off my screen hehe… (shht don’t tell) Fruity cheesecakes are one of my fav’s. I mean, I wouldn’t say no to a piece of good ol’ NY cheesecake, but this blueberry creme fraiche cheesecake looks even better. Fresh AND creamy. ‘nough said, right? Gorgeous photo’s too! Love them :)

  21. this looks absolutely amazing but I’m not a fan of blueberries… Would it work with raspberries?

    • I definitely think it would! Raspberries do have a stronger flavor though, so you may want to use slightly less than the recipe calls for. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!

  22. Well, this is just beyond gorgeous! WOW!

  23. Made this cheesecake for my husband this week, and it was PHENOMENAL. Perfect amount of tang and soooo creamy. Best cheesecake I’ve ever had. Definitely worth making the crème fraiche.

  24. This is totally awesome… I’m trying to translate the recipe as I can.. ? I live in Turkey and i love every kind of cheesecakes..  I hope I’ll do it compeletely. ? Thank you!!

  25. What would you think of adding a kind of lemon curd on top of that cheesecake instead of something sweet like cream, such as in this recipe?:

    http://www.ricardocuisine.com/recipes/1054-cranberry-lime-bars

  26. Would I be able to make the blueberry puree one or two days ahead? If so, would I store it in the fridge or just in a shady area at room temperature or? Thank you~!

  27. Sorry, I didn’t quite catch how long the cheesecake batter needs to be baked for? It says 40~45 minutes but I’m not sure whether that’s how long you wait after the cheesecake comes out of the oven or if that’s how long the cheesecake should be baked for. Thank you! 

  28. Thank you so much for your recipe.  I have been searching online for a purple cheesecake recipe that you bake only to find all foreign recipes and even though I had it translated it still left me searching for correct terms and amounts.  My Mom makes cheesecakes and is an Elk and their color is purple but all american recipes I found in purple were for  No-Bake.  Thank You and I am sure My Mom will thank you also

  29. Can I use frozen fresh blueberries instead of fresh?? I want to make this for the up coming holiday! Thanks 

  30. This was amazing! I made it for Easter using sour cream and it was a hit. It was beautiful and delicious. This one is going in the recipe book! Thank you for this amazing dessert!

  31. I made it today and it was very tasty! I didn’t have the same luck as you when I tried to take my cheesecake out of the cake pan though.  Also, my cake color had a bit duller color, unlike the bright purple color that your cake has.  I’m going to try making it again with a springform pan and see if I can get a better result.  Thanks again for the recipe!

  32. I made this using a spring form pan. I lined the bottom with parchment paper and the exterior with foil as suggest here. I measured everything exactly as the container of berries stated 15 oz or 3 cups. Those were not the same so I used 3 cups.

    My cheesecake photos are not as pretty but the color is pretty accurate. It also stated to drizzle any remaining blueberry puree’ on top if you have more than 1 cup. I won’t do that again as it looks messy. Will try next time with a lemon zest topping.

  33. So, I wanted to make this for a dinner party. I made the creme fraiche as you advised and I made the cheesecake with room temp ingredients and made the topping and put it on after 60 minutes and when I opened the oven in 5 minutes, the topping disappeared, like totally liquefied and ran out the bottom of my spring form around the edges and then turned into a clear butter sugar mess and the cheesecake.  . . .I don’t even know yet. 

    Please Help!!
    Any advice that doesn’t begin with “start over” would be muchly appreciated.

    Thanks

  34. Hi 
    I really loved the way your cheesecake looked but unfortunatelly mine curdled,I don’t know why…
    Might be the blueberries?
    I am so disapointed,I put a lot of effort in this,so from now on only simple cheescakeswith no fruits in it.

    • Curdled when you were mixing it? Like the batter never really got smooth? If so, my best guess would be your ingredients were not completely at room temperature. 

  35. Is it okay to use a 24 cm springform pan? 

    • I believe that’s only slightly larger than a 9-inch pan, so I think you should be fine. Watch the cheesecake while it bakes, you may need to take out out a few minutes sooner as a larger pan will make the cake slightly thinner.

  36. Forgot to ask, can I use digestive for the crust? I can’t find vanilla wafers in my store, just those with filling.. And if I can use the digestive, should it be the original or whole wheat? 

    • I’m not familiar with digestive, but something like a shortbread-like cookie should work I would think. You can also definitely substitute your own favorite crust in place of mine.

    • Hi again, I’m thinking about doing this tomorrow but have a few more questions if it’s okay. 

      When you say to butter the pan, do you mean just butter or do I have to put flour or breadcrumbs on too? 

      I can’t find almond extract in my country. Can I substitute it for something else? 

      Is it okay to puree the blueberries in a mixer and not food processor, (I only have one and have to use that for the very next step in the recipe) 

      I didn’t see anything about a water bath in the recipe so I’m guessing that’s not something thats needed? 

      Do you whisk the cream fraiche glaze by hand (with a ballon whisk) or in a mixer? 

      And can I do the glaze right before putting it on the cheesecake? (5 minutes) so it doesn’t change texture or anything.

      How long does it have to cool to room temperature before taking it to the fridge? And how long does it have to be in the fridge to be exact? 

      Sorry for the million questions..hope you can answer. 

      Hugs

    • Butter just means butter, just so the crust doesn’t stick to the bottom.

      Almond extract can be left out or replaced with vanilla if necessary.

      For the blueberries, the idea is to puree them until they are smooth. A mixer won’t do that, unfortunately. You could use a blender or a food processor.

      I did not bake this in a water bath and have found if you use a nice thick cake pan (with/without a removable bottom) you shouldn’t need it.

      The glaze just needs a quick whisk, no electric mixer necessary. And the glaze does need to be baked for the last few minutes with the cheesecake to allow it to set up properly. Once baked, the cheesecake should cool for an hour or two then chilled at least another hour or two more.

    • thank you so much for all the answers! what I meant about the glaze was if i can do it a few minutes before putting it on the cheesecake and then in the oven again? or do I need to make it right away when I have put the cheesecake without the glaze in the oven (then it’s 45, 50 minutes until I’ll put the glaze on the cake and I’m a little afraid it won’t be so smooth after that long time)  but is vanilla extract a good option to substitute the almond extract in the glaze? will it still be white in the colour?  and do you think if I substitute the extra 3/4 teaspoon in the cake will it be a too strong vanilla flavor? 

      kind regards, Marilyn

  37. I made this for a birthday party at work, and it is gone (served 14)!  I used gluten-free graham crackers in place of the cookies for the crust, and Pamela’s gluten free flour in the filling.  This was my first time making a cheesecake, so I didn’t know how to tell if it was done in the middle.  It could have used probably another 15 minutes, but that might be because I’m at high altitude (7,000 ft.)  The glaze was not nearly as pretty as your picture, but it all tasted great!  For the glaze I had to substitute sour cream for part of it because I didn’t buy enough creme fraiche.

  38. Made this a couple weeks ago, and it turned out great. Most delicious thing I’ve ever made and seriously eaten, it was very loved by everyone. I just have one question, the taste and and appearance was great but the edge got all brown. Do you know why? And what I could do next time so it doesn’t get brown around the cake?  Because other than that it was perfect!

    Sincerely, Marilyn

    • My edges browned a bit too, but if it got really dark you may have baked it too long. Also, a heavy duty, light aluminum pan will brown less than a dark pan.

      Glad you enjoyed it nonetheless!

  39. This was waaaaay too much for a 9″ I should have used a 10″. Didn’t cook quite right it was so deep.  Pretty color, flavor was meh, had enough cream cheese left over to make my standard recipe. 

    • Did you use a deep 9-inch pan? The one I used was a 9×3, I know most standard cake pans are 9×2. This one has a removable bottom and is more the size/proportion of a springform. Guessing that might be the issue. :)

  40. Hi,
    I’m looking for a fabulous cheesecake cake for my boyfriend’s birthday. Will this cheese cake hold strong if I sandwich it between two layers of lemon cake? (Without the crust and glace ofcourse)
    I love this blueberry colour I see and I can’t find this rich smooth blueberry colour in any cakes.
    Lovely blog btw … I love your style of writing
    Regards
    Hema

    • I’m not sure if this would be the best cheesecake, as it is very light and delicate in texture. You could certainly give it a try, and definitely let me know how it turns out if so!

  41. Do i need to cover the cheesecake with plastic foil/aluminum before refrigerating it?

  42. Hello, Good Day! i just want to ask i don’t have the fresh blueberries and frozen berris can i use the comstock blubeeris in can for the puree of bluberries.?thanks! i live in the philippines.

    • I’ve never used canned blueberries, but as long as they are preserved without sugar you should be able to make the recipe as written. If they are preserved in syrup, then maybe reduce the sugar a little.

  43. Hello, thank you very much! :)

  44. I have made this cheesecake several times over the past year and it is ALWAYS a huge hit. Thank you so much for working so hard on it, it is perfect. People ask me to make it on both my side of the family and my fiance’s. Thank you again!

  45. The texture of this looks amazing! Definitely need to try this recipe!!

  46. so glad you stuck with this recipe, especially since I’m probably on the opposite side of the choice between chocolate cake and cheesecake, thank you for sticking with this recipe, beautiful!

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