Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, but it can sometimes be a little overpowering, particularly after a big dinner. This beautiful tart strikes just the right balance – it’s delicious and satisfying without being dense or overly rich. Encased in a honey and brown sugar sweetened whole wheat crust, the tart features a cheesecake filling that’s topped with a sweet, juicy blueberry compote surrounded by sweet whipped cream. Use crème fraiche for the filling, if you can find it (or make your own!) – it will give it a more complex flavor and smoother texture.
Makes one 10-inch tart, serving 8-10
Whole Wheat Honey Crust
- 1 ½ cups (195 grams) all-purpose flour
- 1/3 cup (41 grams) whole wheat flour
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 12 tablespoons (170 grams) unsalted butter, softened
- 2 tablespoons (27 grams) light or dark brown sugar
- ¼ cup (50 grams) granulated sugar
- 2 ½ tablespoons (52 grams) honey
- ½ teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 2 cups plus 2 tablespoons (1 lb/454 g) cream cheese, at room temperature
- ¾ cup (150 g/5.3 oz) granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1/8 (0.83 g/0.03 oz) teaspoon salt
- 2 teaspoons (10 g/0.35 oz) lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon (2 g/0.07 oz) vanilla paste or extract
- 1/3 cup (80 g/2.8 oz) crème fraiche or sour cream, at room temperature
- 3 tablespoons (43 g/1.5 oz) heavy cream
- 3 cups (340 grams) fresh blueberries, divided
- 2 tablespoons (25 grams) granulated sugar
- 1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 3/4 cup (174 grams) heavy cream
- ½ teaspoon vanilla paste or extract
- 2 tablespoons (14 grams) confectioners’ sugar, sifted
Make the Crust:
- In a medium bowl, gently whisk together the flours, salt and cinnamon; set aside.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the butter at medium speed until creamy, about 30 seconds. Gradually add the sugars and beat until well blended, about a minute. Add the honey and vanilla and beat until combined. While mixing at low speed, add the flour mixture in three additions, mixing just until it starts to come together as a dough. Turn the dough out onto a work surface, shape it into a disc, wrap it in plastic wrap and chill for at least 1 hour.
- Working in sections and using your fingers, press the dough evenly into the bottom and sides of a 10-inch tart pan with a removable bottom. Prick the bottom of the shell with a fork at 1 inch intervals and chill the tart shell for 20 minutes, while you preheat the oven.
- Position a rack in the center of the oven and preheat the oven to 350˚F. Cut a piece of parchment paper into a 14-inch round and line the tart shell with the paper. Fill the shell with pie weights or rice and place the tart pan on a baking sheet. Blind bake the tart shell for 20 minutes. Remove the paper and pie weights and continue to bake the tart shell for another 5 to 10 minutes, until it is lightly browned around the rim. Place the tart pan on a wire rack and let the tart shell cool while you make the filling. Leave the oven on at 350˚F.
Make the Cheesecake Filling:
- In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, beat the cream cheese on medium-low speed until light and creamy, about 1 minute. Gradually add the sugar and beat until well combined, about 2 minutes longer. Add the egg, beating until well blended. Add the salt, lemon juice and vanilla and beat just until combined. Add the crème fraiche and heavy cream and beat until blended. Remove the bowl from the mixer stand and stir with a rubber spatula to make sure the batter doesn’t have any lumps and is well blended. Scrape the batter into the baked crust and bake the tart until it is puffed around the edges and the center is set, 25 to 30 minutes. Place the tart on a wire rack and cool.
Make the Blueberry Topping:
- In a medium saucepan, combine 1 cup of the blueberries with the sugar. Cook over low heat, until the blueberries have popped and released their juices, 5 to 7 minutes. Strain the berries through a fine-mesh sieve into a medium bowl, pressing down on the berries with a rubber spatula to release as much juice as possible. Stir the remaining 2 cups of blueberries, the lemon juice and the zest into the blueberry syrup and toss well to combine.
Make the Whipped Cream:
- Place the cream and the vanilla paste in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whisk attachment and beat at high speed until soft peaks just begin to form. Whisk whisking at low speed, add the confectioners’ sugar and then increase the speed to medium and beat until the cream forms stiff peaks. Scrape the whipped cream into a pastry bag fitted with a medium-size St. Honore or open star tip.
Finish the Tart:
- Pipe a border of whipped cream around the edge of the cheesecake (if you are using the St. Honore tip, make sure that the v-shaped indentation is facing up as you pipe). If you have leftover cream, save it to serve with the tart.
- Toss the blueberry topping well, then spoon it into the center of the tart, up to the edge of the cream border. Refrigerate the tart until ready to serve.