It’s my boy’s birthday today and yet, we’re not around to celebrate it with him due to some undesirable last minute changes made to the trip. Poor him! :(

Nevertheless..

Happy 11th Birthday, darlinggggg… *hugs & kisses*

Boy1 is sensitive and sweet, too sweet sometimes. Grin. I remember when i was feeling down a couple of weeks ago.. he said, “I rather you’re angry with me than being sad like this. At least, when you’re angry, you’re not so sad. You’re just angry. Seeing how sad you are now made me sad too, mom”. Then, he continued, “Why not i make you angry now? That way, you won’t be sad anymore?”. LOL!

When he got to know that we will not be around during his birthday, he was a little upset. Still, he quietly told me that his ultimate birthday wish is for the husband and i to have a fantastic time in Japan, Like a Honeymoon, he said. He requested, Mom.. do check out the hot spring for me please and my eyes twinkled a little. Little did he know that we will indeed be at the onsen on his birthday! I’m so gonna surprise him with short videos which i will send over on today. :)

So yeah, this Blueberry Cheesecake post is specially dedicated to my firstborn, who loves me so much so that it pains me when i fail to reciprocate (physically) sometimes. Bad mom, i am. I am.

Why blueberry cheesecake?

Because my mom loves cheesecake.

She was staying at my place for about a week when i decided i wanted to bake her something she loves. Usually, the only bakes that i can tabao back to her is butter cakes, which can withstand rough journey. She ever requested for cheesecake but i told her that it wasn’t possible. When she got to know that i was gonna bake her a blueberry cheesecake, she was as pleased as punch. :)))))

Blueberry Cheesecake

for 8″ cake

Crust

Digestive biscuits 140g
Butter, melted 70g

Finely ground the biscuit. Pour warm butter over biscuit. Toss well to coat mixture with butter. Press firmly into an even layer on the bottom of pan. Refrigerate for an hour.

Filling

500g cream cheese
110g castor sugar
2 tbsp plain flour
1 tsp vanilla essence
2 tsp lemon zest
3 large eggs
30g homemade yogurt/ whipping cream

Topping

500g blueberries
150-200g sugar
zest and juice of 1 lemon
2 tsp cornstarch

Method

1. Beat cream cheese and sugar until creamy. Beat in flour until smooth. Add eggs one at a time, mixing until just incorporated. Gradually add yogurt or whipping cream and lastly, add all other ingredients until well mixed.

2. Bake at 150 (depending on your oven) in water bath for 1 hour 30 minutes or till the edge of filling is set and centre is slightly wobbly. Cool on rack for 5 minutes.

3. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch and set aside. In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and stir in lemon juice and cornstarch mixture. Stir until the sauce thickens slightly.  Cover to keep warm and set aside.

Note :

Please, please let your blueberry sauce to sit around, cooled and thickened before pouring it over. I didn’t have the luxury to wait at that time i shot these photos as we were rushing out so, i didn’t wait and poured it straight. Result? Watery sauce which isn’t so pleasant to the eyes. :(

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The blueberry sauce is more than enough to cover the whole cake.

So, what do you do with leftover?

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce of course!!! *wink*

You know i love cheesecakes. Of course i’ll say, SO GOOD!!!! Hahaa!

Mummy loved it so much that she had 3 slices on that very day, followed by 1 more slice the next day. Dang, it’s truly a joy to bake for good people who enjoy your goodies hor? :)

Hopefully boy1 is having a great time with his grandparents and aunt… & brothers… Gawwdd, i feel so awful as i draft this pre-Japan. SO AWFUL!!!! :`(

pardon my first time lacing up. salah quite a few times! :P

Some food are not meant to be photographed. Just like this pie here. I baked it quite late in the evening. By the time it was done, the sun had long gone.

“It’s a pie! It’s freshly baked!”

Of course i can’t wait to devour it. Even if i can, the boys won’t let me. Heh. Oh well, once a while, bad photos are inevitable eh? I could have just skipped this post but i don’t want to because i so need this for my future reference. Yup, so this post is definitely for me, myself and i. Bad photos? I’m perfectly fine with it. :)

Lattice-Top Nectarine Blueberry Pie

For the super awesome crust recipe, see here.

6 medium nectarines, halved and pitted
1 punnet of blueberries
1/3 cup sugar, plus 1-2 tsp for sprinkling
3 tbsp all purpose flour
1 tbsp lemon juice
1 large yolk
2 tbsp milk or cream
vanilla ice cream (MUST), for serving

Note : if you are using my crust recipe, do take note that this recipe can be used to make 2 pies instead of one. what i do is, i keep half of the recipe in the freezer, for emergency use.

Method

1. From the half recipe above, halve it again. Roll that out. Transfer to a 10 inch pie pan and chill till ready to use. Firmly shape the other recipe of dough into a small rectangle, the roll it out until it’s about 1/8 inch thick. Chill until ready to use.
2. Cut each half into 4-5 slices. Transfer to a large bowl. Pour the blueberries to the nectarine slices. Add sugar, flour and lemon juice. Gently toss with a spatula until the fruit is evenly coated.
3. Scrape the filling into the chilled pie shell. From the chilled rectangle of dough, create a lattice onto the pie straight. Refrigerate the pie for 30 minutes but no longer than 1 hour.
4. Preheat the oven to 400F and position the rack in the bottom third of the oven. In a small bowl, beat the egg yolk with milk or cream to create an egg wash, then use the pastry brush to lightly glaze the lattice and outside the edge of the pie crust. Sprinkle the top with the 1-2 tsp sugar. Bake for 50-60 minutes, until the pie crust is golden brown and the fruit is bubbling and tender (test with the tip of a paring knife). Transfer to cooling rack and allow the pie to cool for 40-60 minutes. Serve warm with vanilla ice cream.

(adapted from Sur La table)

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With a good pie crust recipe, one can play with the filling anyhow and anyway one fancies. The options are endless. So many ideas. So many inspirations. So little time. Aihss…

I don’t bake pies or tarts that often, but each time i do, the boys go absolutely ballistic. Methinks is the crust. Oh, and the ice cream too. ;)

*This is a scheduled post as i am currently away for a short holiday. :)

** pssstttt : it’s LOW FAT!

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Don’t we all love breakfast and brunch?

I know i do!

For myself, breakfast is my most-look-forward-to meal of the day. The moment i reluctantly flutter open my eyes in the morning, my very first thought would be, ‘Breakfast time! What shall i eat today?’ – please tell me i’m not alone! :P

I love pancakes.

I love cutting through them straight out from the non-stick skillet in a pool of goodness (read : maple syrup and butter in room temperature!) before piling the goodness on and quickly shove it to the mouth.

Aaahhh… the satisfaction.

Priceless!

I’ve read quite a bit about pancakes made with ricotta. It says that ricotta makes them fluffy! Even though i’m very pleased with the fool-proof pancake recipe which i’d whip up whenever the pancake craving hits, i got curious and wanted to try ricotta pancakes too!

After scrambling around checking if it was alright to still consume ricotta cheese that had expired (a BIG thank you to everyone who had responded swiftly to my SOS tweet!), i was relieved to find out that my ricotta pancake ‘project’ could still take off! Hee… I know, i’m terrible! Am such a procrastinator.

But i did throw 1 tub away though.. the tub that gave me baaaddd feeling even though it looked pretty much the same as the tub which i’d used for these pancakes. Women and their intuition… never belittle them! Heh!

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes with Blueberry Sauce

Serves 3-4

Ingredients:

To make the blueberry sauce

1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
2-3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 tablespoons water

1. In a small bowl, combine the lemon juice and cornstarch and set aside.

2. In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, sugar, and water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and stir in lemon juice and cornstarch mixture. Stir until the sauce thickens slightly.  Cover to keep warm and set aside.

To make the pancakes

1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
3 tablespoons granulated sugar
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup ricotta cheese
1 large egg
2 large egg whites
1/2 cup fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
1 tablespoon canola oil

Directions

1. In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, baking soda and salt.

2. In a medium bowl, whisk together ricotta cheese, egg, egg whites, lemon juice, lemon zest, and canola oil. Gently fold this mixture into the dry ingredients until flour disappears. Don’t over mix. The batter will be thick.

3. Heat a griddle or a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Spray with cooking spray.  Drop about 1/3 cup of batter onto the hot griddle or skillet. Cook the pancakes until browned on the underside and beginning to set, about 2 minutes. Flip and cook the pancakes on the other side, about two minutes longer. Continue making pancakes until batter is gone. Serve warm with blueberry sauce.

Source : two peas & their pod

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Verdict :

LOVE LOVE LOVE!

This pancake recipe is a real keeper. The pancakes are incredible. Thick, light and really fluffy (check out the naked photo without the blueberry sauce) … simply heavenly. Oh, and that combination of lemon + blueberries? It can never, ever go wrong!

Boy1 who had gotten rather bored with pancakes (uh huh, i really do make pancakes that often!) couldn’t help but to ask for second serving! It was indeed a welcoming and refreshing change to the household that adores pancakes. :)

ps : i added a huge knob of salted butter right in the middle of the blueberry mess before i wolfed it down though. *sigh*. i’m a girl who can’t live without her butter, especially in pancakes!

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