This week's Sweet Melissa Sundays pick, Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake with a Cornmeal Crumb Crust, gave me lots of practice in two cooking and baking skills that I find crucial: knowing how to successfully scale down a recipe, and substituting what you need with what you have.
Based on my title, you can probably guess where the first substitution came in: raspberries for blueberries. This one came about by accident: I really thought I had a good amount of blueberries stored up in my freezer, but when it came time to make the sauce, I realized that I was way off. I had 10 blueberries. 10! So I added in raspberries to make up the difference.
I also toyed a bit with the foundation of the recipe: the cheesecake batter. The original recipe, which serves 12, calls for four bricks of cream cheese and a full cup of mascarpone. There is but one of me, and I had just one brick of cream cheese, so I decided to make do with what I had. I quartered the recipe, and also substituted sour cream for the mascarpone. My fourth-grade division skills definitely came in handy.
The cornmeal crumb crust was left as-is, although also quartered. I patted it into the bottom of cupcake liners, baked it for about 10 minutes until it was browned, and then spooned the cupcake batter over top of it. After that, one cupcake pan went into a water bath, and the other didn't - a bit of an experiment. They were both done baking after about 40 minutes, but the water bath-baked cheesecake bites turned out much better than their counterparts, who bubbled violently and threatened to explode out of the pan.
I was extremely impressed with this recipe and how it held up to my substitutions and tweaking. It was very creamy and had a bright, intense lemon flavour. The blueberry-raspberry topping was a bit tangy, which complemented the sweet lemon filling perfectly. And by making bite-size versions, I was able to make more servings - that's healthier, right? That is, assuming you don't eat all of the servings on your own. Not that I did that, of course.
For this amazing recipe, visit Eliana of A Chica Bakes. And to check out the rest of the Sweet Melissa Sundays bloggers, check out the member list.