Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Blueberry Cheesecake Pudding

I went to a farmer’s market earlier this summer and bought four pints of locally grown blueberries. I no longer have the time to wax lyrical about blueberries but you can read all about them on a previous post.

I had originally planned on making a pie, but then remembered that my friend Joe had long ago given me a blueberry recipe from his grandmother. This dessert is an adaptation of that recipe. Her version uses amaretto and vanilla wafers. I’ve replaced those ingredients, reduced the sugar, and given a few healthier ingredient options.

I took this to a dinner party a few weeks ago and it was a great hit. Be warned – ten hungry New Yorkers did not make much of a dent in this massive dish, but it's ideal for parties, potlucks and barbeques.

14-18 servings

2 cups graham cracker crumbs
2 cups granulated sugar
1/2 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 eggs
8 ounces cream cheese (reduced fat acceptable), at room temperature
1 teaspoon lemon or vanilla extract
2 packages of vanilla instant pudding mix
3 cups of milk (low fat or skim acceptable)
1/4 cup cornstarch
4 to 5 cups blueberries (fresh or thawed frozen)

1. Preheat oven to 350F.
2. Combine graham cracker crumbs, 1/2 cup sugar and butter and press into a greased 13 x 9 deep glass baking dish.
3. Place eggs, cream cheese, 1/2 cup sugar and extract in a bowl and beat until smooth. Pour and spread over crust. Bake for 30 minutes or until cream cheese is set. Remove and cool to room temperature.
4. In a separate bowl, mix both packets of instant pudding with milk and beat for 2 minutes until mixture thickens. Spread over cream cheese and chill.
5. In a large saucepan, combine 1 cup sugar and cornstarch. Add some liquid (water, juice, alcohol) if necessary. Mix in blueberries and cook over medium heat. Stir constantly and gently until mixture thickens and becomes dark. Remove from heat and cool to room temperature.
6. Spread over pudding layer and chill overnight.
7. Scoop out portions with a large spoon and serve in a bowl.