I wish there were more cafes in D.C. Not sandwich shops, open Monday through Friday from 9-5, full of people in suits impatiently waiting for their order so they can be on their way again. Cafes, where you can sit down with a book and a cup of coffee for a few hours in relative peace.
The pace is really different here compared to Boston; much of D.C. is centered around the work week. The subways are surprisingly empty on the weekend , even with all the tourists, and the streets become devoid of people in the evening after rush hour.
I guess there are much better things I could be doing while I'm here, like networking and schmoozing with my fellow interns over dinner, rather than reading Gone Girl in a cafe (which, by the way, is a really, really creepy but good book). But still. I wish there were more cafes.
Even though I have more baked goods than I need at home (and frequently tell people that I can always bake it better), I still frequent bakeries quite often. Though I'm often not impressed with the food, I like the experience of looking through the rows of carefully arranged pastries behind the glass case, reading all the labels, the indecision of choosing one of them.
I think that's why a lot of bakeries don't mind publishing their recipes; people don't really come because they really like a certain secret recipe. They come for the experience of being able picking out a baked good and getting it served to them without having to worry about cooking or cleaning up.
This cheesecake would have caught my eye behind a bakery counter. First the bright purple color, standing out from the other pastries. I would have looked at the label next, "blueberry cheesecake," a departure from most blueberry cheesecakes, which are really vanilla cheesecakes topped with a blueberry sauce. If I needed further convincing, the cool, creamy texture would have done it.
Paired with a cup of coffee or iced tea and a book, it would have made a good afternoon.
One year ago: Chocolate Fruit Cups
Two years ago: Mini Berry Pies
Click here for the printable recipe.
Yields: 1 9-inch cheesecake
For the Crust:
1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling
1 ½ cups blueberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
⅔ cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- Make the blueberry syrup for the filling. In a saucepan, mix together the blueberries, 2 tablespoons of sugar, lemon juice, and water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until blueberries burst and are cooked down to a sauce. Let cool to room temperature.
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
- Make the Crust. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and vanilla extract. Press the mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan that has been lined with aluminum foil and greased.
- Beat together the cream cheese and remaining granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat in the blueberry syrup.
- Pour the batter in the pan over the crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center is barely set.
- Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.