So far, in my New Year’s resolution to prepare more meals using watermelon, I’ve prepared a main course (sweet and sour watermelon chicken) and a soup (watermelon gazpacho). For my third watermelon dish, I’m whipping up something for my favorite course — dessert.
When I spotted this recipe for New York-style cheesecake with blueberry and watermelon sauce, I knew that it would be a perfect New Year’s resolution task. For one, I love cheesecake (maybe a little too much) and, second, I’ve never actually made a cheesecake, so this would be a great way to try something new.
Overall, the process was a lot easier than I thought it would be, and the blueberry and watermelon sauce was, in a word, AMAZING. Below are some pictures of how it all went down. If you’re interested in making your own New York-style cheesecake with blueberry and watermelon sauce, check out the recipe on the National Watermelon Promotion Board website.
This recipe contains not one, not two, but THREE different fruits, which is always a good thing (especially when one of those fruits are watermelon). One thing you’ll notice about the recipe, is that it contains a lot of healthy shortcuts designed to make the cheesecake a little better for you. I like my cheesecakes a little more decadent, so I substituted low fat cream cheese for the fat free cream cheese and real eggs for the egg substitute.
The key to a great cheesecake (in my “expert” opinion), is the crust. I like it to be thick and I like it to be rich and buttery. To do that with this cheesecake, I cut the 1/3 cup of graham cracker crumbs in the recipe and replaced it with TWO CUPS of crumbs. I also added half a stick of melted butter to the crumb mixture, which is a common ingredient in a cheesecake crust. The result was a rich, buttery, tasty quarter-inch crust you can really sink your teeth into.
The star of this cheesecake is the watermelon sauce. No doubt about it. It’s sweet and tart (thanks to the addition of lemon juice) and thickened up nicely. This recipe makes a lot of sauce, so I saved my leftovers to use as a pancake topping this weekend. I’m already counting down the days.
The recipe instructs you to bake your cheesecake in a water bath, which is common for cheesecake recipes. It helps the cheesecake to cook evenly and prevents the splitting you see on my cheesecake above. Mine split because I skipped the water bath step. You can do the water bath if you’d like, but I did some research, and as long as you don’t mind some splitting on top, you can skip it. And if you’re topping your cheesecake with cherries, blueberries or a delicious watermelon sauce, a little splitting won’t matter.
My first cheesecake turned out a lot better than I thought it would, and I’ll definitely be making another cheesecake in the near future. Maybe something with a chocolate or caramel swirl. And watermelon sauce, of course. Can’t forget the watermelon sauce.
For more recipes using watermelon, check out the “Recipes” section of the National Watermelon Promotion Board website.
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