And therefore -because it is Wednesday and I am feeling blue- I had another late night baking session. It was semi-scheduled because today is not only Wednesday, it is also my Dad’s birthday (or would have been, for that matter) and every year, I try to make something with crumbles, zu Deutsch Streusel. He loved Streuselkuchen, the most basic cake ever – a sweet yeast dough (500g plain flour / 100g white sugar / 300ml milk / 100ml veggie oil, the-answer-to-life-the-universe-and everything grams of fresh yeast, a pinch of salt) topped with crumbles (400g plain flour / 250g white sugar / 250g butter), baked in the oven for appr. 30 min at 180°C. Since I’m not the biggest fan, and my Dad’s not around for eating it anyway, I rummaged through my mind and through my freezer and found a bag of self-picked blueberries from hiking in the Vosges last summer. Perfect! I used a chefkoch-recipe as inspiration but of course didn’t follow it at all but did my very own variation which I am happy to share now, after it’s been tried, tested, and approved by my colleagues on 4.1 my
BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE WITH GINGERBREAD CRUMBLES
First, we need a shortcrust pastry. Easy. 250g plain flour / 100g white sugar / 150g butter / 1 tsp baking powder / 1 egg. Mix and knead (IMPORTANT EDIT: I was today years old when I learned it’s pronounced nIIIIId, not nEd. Proniuncational revelation. A dough needs kneading. Niiiidz Niiiiiding. Nice.) and chill in the fridge. The pastry, not you. No, you get out and go to a symphony concert and listen to Tchaikovsky’s 6th, the Pathétique, and if you feel like shedding some tears because life and despair or maybe because you’re simply feeling a little blue, go for it. That’s what B minor is here for.
Back from our emotional musical intermission, we line a greased springform with our pastry or remember that we had to throw ours away and use a square Mediterranean style ceramic pan instead so that the pastry gets to swim with turquoise fish. We then mix the following ingredients in a bowl: 800g low-fat curd (aren’t we healthy!) / 1 pk custard powder (aren’t we lazy!) / 120g brown sugar (aren’t we sweet!) / 3 eggs and some egg liquer (aren’t we eggstravagant!) / and, most importantly frozen or fresh blueberries ad libitum. Needless to say, the ad lib. refers purely to the amount of blueberries. This is not a question of if, it’s a question of how much and if there is even a too much when it comes to blueberries (and technically, you might say, of course there isn’t because blueberries are countable and therefore, if they were anything, they would be too many but the answer is still: no, there’s no such thing, no matter the quantifying determiner, and also, do you really wanna count them Cinderella-style? Exactly. So let’s add our 635 hand-selected blueberries and move on.)
Pour our now very violently purple (nod to Schube’s for coining this expression in his amazing, hilarious, and very entertaining Potterless-Podcast) mixture into our baking form.
Our purple cream dream will soon be covered by the one still-missing ingrediential eponymous component: THE CRUMBLE. Generally, you make them exactly as mentioned above in the basic Streuselkuchen recipe. Oh, fun thing about Streusel: in Colmar, there is a tiny little Tarte Flambée restaurant where they have one that says “Pommes Streusel” and of course I know it is basically an apple crumble served on Flammkuchen base but for us Germans, it translates as “French Fry Crumbles” and I find that very amusing. But we’re in Germany and busy and we wanna get this cake done so no further interruptions! Of course you can just go with the normal Streusel ingredients. Alas, it was past midnight and I felt fancy and inventive and I still had some gingerbread cookies left from Christmas and so I crumbled them up very finely, mixed them with flour and poured melted butter over it and used a Dinglehopper, as Arielle would call it, to stir it all buttery and crumbly (Ha! And I bet now you’re glad that curd was low-fat so we can enjoy our superduper high-fat buttered cookie crumbles without remorse (which we should no matter what)!).
After we sprinkling, our blueberry cheesecake goes into the oven at 180°C for, well, I wanted to tell Siri 50 (fiftYYYYYYYYYYYYY) minutes and she refused to hear the absence of an n at the end and kept setting a timer for 15 (fifteeNNNNNNNNNNNNNNN) minutes and after the fourth attempt, I was too annoyed to try again and I gave up and deliberately changed the baking time to 55 minutes approximately. And that went pretty well, so stick to it!
And because why not, here is the beginning of a very long poem by Robert Frost, titled Blueberries and hence the sophisticated finale of this late-night-baking session post scriptum:
You ought to have seen what I saw on my way
To the village, through Mortenson’s pasture to-day:
Blueberries as big as the end of your thumb,
Real sky-blue, and heavy, and ready to drum
In the cavernous pail of the first one to come!
And all ripe together, not some of them green
And some of them ripe! You ought to have seen!Robert Frost, Blueberries