New York Style Cheesecake with Blueberry Sauce

Cheesecake has not been my friend in the past. For one, cream cheese is my biggest dairy enemy. I can handle small amounts of butter, cheese, milk, etc but cream cheese? Forget about it. I can’t come anywhere near that stuff. So if I ever want a hope of enjoying cheesecake, it has to be made at home with dairy free cream cheese. Second, I don’t have a roasting pan or anything to use for a sufficient water bath. My last attempt at cheesecake resulted in a cracked mess of a pie that looked like a disaster, but tasted really good.

So when I added cheesecake to my 30-by-30 list, I wanted to find a cheesecake recipe that could be made without a water bath and that wouldn’t crack. I realize that you can cover cracks with a variety of toppings like caramel, whipped cream, fruit, or just about anything else. But, this is just one of those things I wanted to be able to do.

I’ve been saving cheesecake recipes all year in the hopes of finding one that would be suitable to try. Then Bridget did this comparison post. After reading through her comparison and the various recipes I had saved, I decided to go with the Cooks Illustrated version of cheesecake. Everything I’ve made from them has been delicious and the recipe didn’t require a water bath.

I decided to make a blueberry topping with the last two cups of the blueberries Hubby and I picked last fall. The cheesecake was very smooth and lucious even without the topping, but Hubby and I both agreed that the blueberry sauce really took this dessert to the next level.

I did take a few extra steps to ensure the cheesecake would not crack. The reason cheesecakes crack is because they are cooling too quickly. After the hour and a half at 200 degrees, instead of removing my cheesecake from the oven, I simply turned off my oven, cracked the door, and stuck a wooden spoon in the door such that the oven and the cheesecake cooled down slowly. After about thirty minutes, I opened the oven door to let the cheesecake cool another couple hours before finally letting it sit on a cooling rack until completely cooled to room temperature.

Now, I have to come clean with you guys. This cheesecake didn’t turn out as perfectly as I had hoped… As you can see, the top of my cheesecake burnt! The recipe says to bake for 10 minutes at 500 degrees. My oven runs hot and always has. I set my oven to 475 and the thermometer in my oven said 500 when I popped the cheesecake in the oven. I think it may have gone through a hot streak (gas ovens have a tendency to do this) during these 10 minutes, because when I turned the oven down to 200 and peaked in through the window, it had already burned. I contemplated remaking the cheesecake to get a pretty picture of the top, but I decided instead to share this mishap with you guys. It didn’t affect the taste of the cheesecake, just the appearance. But that was all covered up by the blueberry sauce anyways!

One Year Ago: Oreo Cream Cheese Swirl Brownies
Three Years Ago: Baked Eggplant Chips

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New York Style Cheesecake

Ingredients:

For the Crust
5 Tbsp unsalted butter, melted, plus 1 additional Tbsp, melted, for greasing the pan
4 ounces (approximately 8 whole) graham crackers, broken into rough pieces and processed into fine, even crumbs
1 Tbsp sugar

For the Cheesecake
2 1/2 pounds (5 8-ounce packages) cream cheese, room temperature
1/8 tsp salt
1 1/2 (10.5 ounces) cups sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
2 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 tsp vanilla extract
2 egg yolks, at room temperature
6 large eggs, at room temperature

For Blueberry Sauce
2 cups frozen blueberries
2-4 Tbsp sugar depending on the sweetness of your berries (I used 2)
1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
1 tsp lemon juice
1 1/2 Tbsp water

Directions:

For the Cheesecake
To make the crust, adjust an oven rack to the lower-middle position and heat the oven to 325 degrees F. Brush the bottom and sides of a 9-inch springform pan with ½ tablespoon of the melted butter. In a medium bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, 5 tablespoons melted butter, and sugar. Toss with a fork until the crumbs are evenly moistened. Transfer the crumbs to the springform pan and use the bottom of a ramekin to firmly press the crumbs evenly into the pan bottom. Bake until fragrant and beginning to brown around the edges, about 13 minutes. Cool on a wire rack while preparing the filling.

Increase the oven temperature to 500 degrees F. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese at medium-low speed to break up and soften it slightly, about 1 minute. Scrape the beater and the bottom and sides of the bowl well with a rubber spatula; add the salt and about half of the sugar and beat at medium-low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; beat in the remaining sugar until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the sour cream, lemon juice, and vanilla. Beat at low speed until combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the egg yolks and beat at medium-low speed until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute. Scrape the bowl; add the remaining eggs 2 at a time, beating until thoroughly combined, about 1 minute, scraping the bowl between additions.

Brush the sides of the springform pan with the remaining ½ tablespoon melted butter. Set the pan on a rimmed baking sheet to catch any spills in case the pan leaks. Pour the filling into the cooled crust and bake 10 minutes; without opening the oven door, reduce the oven temperature to 200 degrees and continue to bake until the cheesecake reads about 150 degrees on an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center, about 1½ hours. Transfer the cake to a wire rack and cool until barely warm, 2½ to 3 hours. Run a paring knife between the cake and the springform pan sides. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate until cold, at least 3 hours.

To unmold the cheesecake, removed the sides of the pan. Slide a thin metal spatula between the crust and the bottom of the pan to loosen, then slide the cake onto a serving plate. Let the cheesecake stand at room temperature about 30 minutes, then cut into wedges and serve. (Use a long, thin, sharp knife that has been run under hot water and then dried for slicing. Wipe the blade clean and rewarm between slices.)

For Blueberry Sauce
Place blueberries and sugar in a pan and heat until the blueberries release their juices.

Combine cornstarch, juice, and water in a small bowl. Stir together until smooth.

Add slurry to pan and stir to mix completely. Bring mixture to boil for a few minutes. Allow to cool to room temperature.

Recipe as seen on The Way the Cookie Crumbles, originally from Cooks Illustrated

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27 Responses to “Homemade Fig Newtons”

  1. #
    1
    nutmegnanny — September 8, 2010 at 4:48 pm

    I always loved fig newtons too 🙂 I have never thought of making my own. Now I know where to find a great recipe 😉

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    2
    Michael — September 8, 2010 at 4:51 pm

    I am going to have to make these. As well as making them with some blackberries.

  3. #
    3
    Eliana — September 8, 2010 at 5:52 pm

    These look amazing and waaaay better than the store bought brand.

  4. #
    4
    mybizzykitchen.com — September 8, 2010 at 6:15 pm

    My husband loves fig newtons – just added this to my ever growing list of things to make!

  5. #
    5
    Maegan — September 8, 2010 at 9:46 pm

    I liked Newtons until they messed with the recipe…Maybe this version will be yummier.

  6. #
    6
    newlywed — September 8, 2010 at 10:33 pm

    I love the idea of making these at home! I still buy Newtons from time to time…they’re so nice and wholesome.

  7. #
    7
    Melissa — September 8, 2010 at 11:58 pm

    You are so creative! My family loves Fig Newtons….can’t wait to make these!

  8. #
    8
    Evan B — September 9, 2010 at 2:42 am

    My boyfriend and I were just talking about fig newtons this evening! I was saying how much I loved them but hadnt had them recently.. and heres a way to make them myself!

  9. #
    9
    Elina — September 9, 2010 at 1:32 pm

    I moved to the US when I was 15 so I didn’t grow up eating fig newtons but I liked them at my very first bite. I’m sure the homemade version is so much more gourmet 😉 Your pics make it look like raspberry filling which I bet would be amazing!!

  10. #
    10
    Katy — September 9, 2010 at 3:59 pm

    These bring me back to my childhood! Only, these look infinitely more delicious and decadent. The Blue-Eyed Bakers must make these soon!

  11. #
    11
    Carolyn — September 10, 2010 at 9:18 pm

    They look fantastic, and I’ve never actually been that much of a Fig Newton fan. Love the polka dot background for the pics too.

  12. #
    12
    Linda — September 11, 2010 at 11:36 am

    I love fig newtons. Hopefully, I can find my figs around here so I can try these.

    http://www.lindaslunacy.blogspot.com

  13. #
    13
    jonathan — September 14, 2010 at 8:31 pm

    Congratulations on making one of the top food blogs!

    Jonathan
    Gluten Free

  14. #
    14
    Peggy — September 17, 2010 at 9:57 am

    I was always a fig newton-lover as a kid too! Glad I wasn’t the only one and these homemade ones look fantastic!

  15. #
    15
    I Like To Cook 222 — October 13, 2010 at 5:33 pm

    I did make these and loved them! I did just what you suggested and used a little less of dough for that amount of filling and just made some grape jam filled ones with the rest of the dough. They came out perfect! Thanks for sharing!
    http://ouritaliankitchen.blogspot.com/2010/10/fig-newtons.html

  16. #
    16
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  17. #
    17
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  18. #
    18
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  19. #
    19
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  20. #
    20
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  21. #
    21
    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn — November 17, 2010 at 4:33 am

    When you say scoop out the seeds and pulp–I am assuming you mean, use the seeds and pulp and discard the skins? Recipe looks good. I’m planning to make these tomorrow!

  22. #
    22
    Jen — November 17, 2010 at 1:18 pm

    Laurel, Mikey & Quinn – Yes, scoop out the flesh and seeds and discard the skins. Let me know how they turn out!

  23. #
    23
    Erin — January 17, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    Thank you for posting this! Great recipe and I want to try with different fillings. I used strawberry for mine – yummy!

    In response to the dough ratio, I made it the way you posted but ended up with very thin dough once it was rolled out to 12×16 inches. I think you should leave it doubled.

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    24
    Hadar — May 16, 2013 at 3:08 am

    Hi, I want to make raspberry newtons and am finding it very hard to get an easy recipe online… think I could use this dough with raspberry jam?

    • beantownbaker — May 16th, 2013 @ 8:41 am

      You could definitely use raspberry jam for the filling!

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    Hadar — May 26, 2013 at 1:03 am

    I made them with 3 different fillings: strawberry jam, blueberry pie filling and vanilla cream. All came out very tasty, and also last freezing nicely.
    A few comments:
    1. The dough was not easy to deal with, even after cooling. It was sticky and fell apart easily.
    2. With the first roll I made, I sliced it to cookies and separated them on the baking pan before baking. All of the Jam oozed out. The other ones I sliced but didn’t move the pieces, and it came out well.
    3. I think in order to taste like real newtons they lack some oats/cereal. Any Idea of how to add some to the dough?

    • beantownbaker — June 10th, 2013 @ 1:10 pm

      I would think you could grind up some oats and replace some of the flour with the ground up oats. If you try it, I’d love to hear how they turn out!

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