I wish there were more cafes in D.C. Not sandwich shops, open Monday through Friday from 9-5, full of people in suits impatiently waiting for their order so they can be on their way again. Cafes, where you can sit down with a book and a cup of coffee for a few hours in relative peace.
The pace is really different here compared to Boston; much of D.C. is centered around the work week. The subways are surprisingly empty on the weekend , even with all the tourists, and the streets become devoid of people in the evening after rush hour.
I guess there are much better things I could be doing while I'm here, like networking and schmoozing with my fellow interns over dinner, rather than reading
in a cafe (which, by the way, is a really, really creepy but good book). But still. I wish there were more cafes.
Even though I have more baked goods than I need at home (and frequently tell people that I can always bake it better), I still frequent bakeries quite often. Though I'm often not impressed with the food, I like the experience of looking through the rows of carefully arranged pastries behind the glass case, reading all the labels, the indecision of choosing one of them.
I think that's why a lot of bakeries don't mind publishing their recipes; people don't really come because they really like a certain secret recipe. They come for the experience of being able picking out a baked good and getting it served to them without having to worry about cooking or cleaning up.
This cheesecake would have caught my eye behind a bakery counter. First the bright purple color, standing out from the other pastries. I would have looked at the label next, "blueberry cheesecake," a departure from most blueberry cheesecakes, which are really vanilla cheesecakes topped with a blueberry sauce. If I needed further convincing, the cool, creamy texture would have done it.
Paired with a cup of coffee or iced tea and a book, it would have made a good afternoon.
Click here for the printable recipe. | Yields: 1 9-inch cheesecake
For the Crust:
1 ½ cup graham cracker crumbs
¼ cup butter, melted
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
For the Filling
1 ½ cups blueberries
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
⅔ cups plus 2 tablespoons granulated sugar, divided
16 ounces cream cheese, softened
2 eggs, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Make the blueberry syrup for the filling. In a saucepan, mix together the blueberries, 2 tablespoons of sugar, lemon juice, and water. Cook over medium-low heat, stirring occasionally, until blueberries burst and are cooked down to a sauce. Let cool to room temperature.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
Make the Crust. Mix together the graham cracker crumbs, butter, and vanilla extract. Press the mixture onto the bottom of a 9-inch round cake pan that has been lined with aluminum foil and greased.
Beat together the cream cheese and remaining granulated sugar until fluffy. Beat in eggs one at a time, and then the vanilla. Beat in the blueberry syrup.
Pour the batter in the pan over the crust. Bake for 30-35 minutes, or until the center is barely set.
Let cool to room temperature, then refrigerate overnight.