Blueberries

Blueberries are a group of flowering plants in the genus Vaccinium, sect. Cyanococcus. The species are native to North America and eastern Asia. They are shrubs varying in size from 10 cm tall to 4 m tall; the smaller species are known as “lowbush blueberries”, and the larger species as “highbush blueberries”. The leaves can be either deciduous or evergreen, ovate to lanceolate, and from 1-8 cm long and 0.5-3.5 cm broad. The flowers are bell-shaped, white, pale pink or red, sometimes tinged greenish. The fruit is botanically a true berry 5-16 mm diameter with a flared “crown” at the end; they are pale greenish at first, then reddish-purple, and finally turn blue or dark purple on ripening. They have a sweet taste when mature, with variable acidity. (from Wikipedia)

The blueberry is high in Vitamin C and dietary fiber, but also has a high amount of suger.

Go Wild With Blueberries

If berries were people, the strawberry would be a flashy, attention-seeking celebrity; the raspberry would be an exotic, snooty, slightly unattainable intellectual; and the blueberry would be, well, your best friend next door.

Small, unpretentious, reliable and good-natured, the blueberry is very much a North American native. Cultivated blueberries are larger and plumper than their wild cousins – but the wild ones, which are widely available frozen, have a more concentrated flavour. Either can be used in the collection of cheerful blueberry recipes available at www.homebasics.ca, including this no-bake cheesecake.

No-Bake Frozen Lemon Cheesecake with Blueberries

CRUST:

  • 21 1-1/2-inch (4 cm) square shortbread cookies, ground fine 21
  • 2 tbsp granulated sugar 30 mL
  • 3 tbsp Imperial Margarine, melted 45 mL

FILLING:

  • 2 pkg (8 oz / 250 g each) cream cheese, at room temperature 2 pkg
  • 1 1/2 cups granulated sugar 375 mL
  • 3 tbsp grated fresh lemon peel 45 mL
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon juice 125 mL
  • 1 tbsp vanilla extract 15 mL
  • 2 cups whipping cream 500 mL
  • blueberries, for decoration (if desired)

To make crust: Grease 9-inch (2.5 L) springform pan. In medium bowl, stir shortbread crumbs and sugar. Add margarine; stir until damp and crumbly. Pour into prepared pan. With your fingers, press mixture firmly into pan bottom. Set aside while making filling.

To make filling: With electric mixer at medium-high speed, beat cream cheese until smooth, soft and fluffy, scraping sides of bowl often, about 5 minutes. Add 3/4 cup (175 mL) sugar and the lemon peel; beat until fluffy. Scrape down sides. With mixer at medium speed, gradually beat in lemon juice and vanilla until well blended.

In another bowl, with mixer at high speed, beat heavy cream and remaining 1/2 cup (125 mL) sugar until stiff. With rubber spatula, gently fold whipped cream into cream-cheese mixture until blended. Pour into crust; smooth top. Cover with foil and freeze at least 8 hours, or overnight, until frozen. Remove from freezer 1/2 hour before serving. To serve, loosen sides of cake with thin metal spatula dipped in hot water. Remove pan sides. Place cake on plate. Decorate cake with whole berries. Serves 8-10.


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