A few years ago my Aunt gave me these really cool spring form heart shaped pans for my birthday. Ever since, I have created a family tradition of baking heart-shaped cheesecakes on Valentine’s Day. Cheesecake certainly isn’t the easiest dessert to make, but it is not that difficult either. This year, I had my littlest girl excited to help out with our tradition. It’s a fun way to celebrate Valentine’s Day since I don’t like getting caught up in buying gifts to show I care. I prefer spending time together as a family and creating memories. Plus my kids really love dessert and see them as a special treat since we don’t eat sweets too often in our home. Who doesn’t love a special dessert once in awhile? As a matter of fact, I am eating a piece of my cheesecake as I type. And yes, it’s 9:30am and I’m drinking coffee with it. Don’t judge. It’s delicious and a dessert I rarely eat, especially in the morning. And I’ll squeeze in a work out tonight….maybe.
(You can buy a graham cracker crust to make it less complicated, but I made it from scratch)
Graham Cracker Crumbs (25-30 crackers, if you want to crumble them yourself. I put them in a gallon size freezer plastic baggie and smash them with the back of a wooden spoon. It’s a nice stress reliever and the kids thoroughly enjoy whacking the crackers with a spoon!)
½-1 tsp of cinnamon
1 stick of melted butter.
2 8 oz blocks of room temperature cream cheese
1 cup white sugar
1 16 oz container of sour cream
½ tsp vanilla extract
Several options here. A lot of times I buy the cherry pie or strawberry pie filling. This year, the kids requested blueberry topping. So I made that from scratch.
1 pint blueberries
1 Tbsp fresh lemon juice (or juice of 1 lemon)
2 TBSP white sugar
1 tbsp Water
Preheat oven to 325
Combine the ingredients in a bowl and mix with a fork until moist. Lightly butter, grease or spray the springform pan. Pour the crust into the bottom of the pan and press down. I have found using a glass measuring cup to press down does help get it smoother than using your hands. Push the crust up about 1 inch on the sides of the pan. Refrigerate for 5 minutes.
In a mixing bowl, beat the cream cheese blocks on a low speed until smooth. Add Eggs one at a time and continue to beat slowly. Gradually add the sugar and now beat until creamy (about 2 minutes)
Add in the Sour Cream, Lemon Zest and Vanilla. While mixing, scrape the edges of the bowl to make sure all is blended into the mix.
Take the crust out of the refrigerator, and pour in the filling. Smooth the top (spatula or spoon will work)
Set the cheesecake pan on a piece of foil and fold the edges up the side of the dish.
Bake cheesecake for about 45 minutes. It should jiggle slightly when done. Let it cool for 30 minutes. Then Chill in the refrigerator for about 4 hours, loosely covered with foil or plastic wrap. It will firm up in the fridge.
Put the blueberries in a saucepan. Add lemon juice, sugar and water. Heat and stir until the blueberries pop. Let the topping cool before placing on top of the cheesecake and serving. This particular topping will get a jelly like consistency if chilled.
Enjoy and Happy Valentine’s Day!