The time between Labor Day and the first day of Fall always feels like a time of transition to me. There’s people lining up for their beloved pumpkin flavored drinks, baking every apple recipe they saved on Pinterest, and pretty much waving their Fall flags loud and proud. Then you have the people who are holding on to summer for dear life. These are the ones who are less than thrilled with the sun going down earlier, will give you some serious side eye if you even mention the word pumpkin, and cringe at the Halloween displays that are in every single store…
What do you guys think? Do you fit into either of these groups? I don’t think I really fit in to either. I’m a little of both and none of the above at the same time. The past year has been a huge transition for me (did I mention I moved?!), and one of the greatest gifts has been learning to enjoy transition, and even more, learning to embrace it. You see, I used to have know the ending before I even started and reach all goals immediately, like yesterday, but that’s not how life works.
Thankfully, it works a lot better than that, and if we stop rushing head first into something that’s not here yet, and holding on for dear life to something that has ended, we open ourselves up to something beautiful, known as right now.
Right now is pretty awesome.
Right now I am all about this glorious no-bake cheesecake pie. It’s a little bit Fall, a little bit summer, and a whole lot of get in my life! It’s the kind of dessert that’s comforting, packs a huge punch of flavor, and is completely fuss free. The kind you’d show up to a friend’s house with, and one that’s guaranteed to get a round of smiles around the dinner table.
A strong foundation is key and the gingersnap crust sets the stage beautifully here. It lends a Fall feel to the dessert off the bat with hints of cinnamon and spice balancing the sweet. I want to fess up right now that even though this is a no-bake cheesecake, you do have to bake the crust. It’ll only take 8 – 10 minutes, and I’m hoping we can still be friends?
I like to think of it as a warm up to Fall baking season.
Vanilla bean, light brown sugar and bourbon all add layers of warmth and depth to the cheesecake, and the addition of orange zest wakes it up. Well, the bourbon definitely wakes it up too, but the orange zest is the brightness. It’s the one ingredient that makes everything else pop.
The blueberry compote really deserved its own post. It’s one of the simplest things to throw together and has the ability to dress up anything from cheesecake to angel food cake, ice cream, waffles, even oatmeal. I usually add a dash of lemon juice to brighten and balance it, but this time I used some fresh squeezed orange juice to complement the zest in the cheesecake filling. Feel free to use lemon juice if that’s what you have on hand. The beauty of this recipe is it’s not fussy and easily adaptable. Another splash of bourbon joins the party, and all I can tell you is blueberries and bourbon are a beautiful thing.
It would be very easy at this point to spoon the warm compote over some vanilla ice cream and call it a day, but we can do this.
One important thing to note is you’ll want the cheesecake filling to be completely chilled before you top it with the cooled blueberry compote. As it all sets together in the fridge (I recommend a minimum of 8 hours, preferably overnight) the flavors will mix, mingle, and let their true colors out.
The final result is a cheesecake that’s so light and lush, I’m tempted to call it cheesecake mousse. You immediately get the vanilla and bourbon, followed by a whisper of citrus. The gingersnap crust offers that crunch along with some sass, and the blueberry compote is simply the icing on the cake!
Hope you guys love this one as much as I did! Remember to tag me in your bakes over on Instagram, and I’ll see you next week with all the sprinkles! Happy baking!
- 2 cups gingersnap cookie crumbs
- 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- 4 ounces unsalted butter
- 16 ounces cream cheese
- 1/4 cup light brown sugar
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- Pinch of salt
- Zest of 1 orange
- 1 tsp. vanilla bean paste or vanilla extract
- 12 ounces heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp. bourbon
- 12 ounces blueberries, about 1 full pint
- 3 Tbsp. granulated sugar
- 1 tsp. fresh orange juice
- 2 tsp. bourbon
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray pie plate with non stick spray.
- Mix crumbs, sugar, salt and melted butter together. Press into pan evenly.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 8-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
- In the bowl of an electric mixer, cream cream cheese, light brown sugar, granulated sugar and salt unit smooth.
- Add zest and vanilla bean paste and mix until combined, scraping the bowl down once to get everything incorporated.
- In a separate bowl whip heavy cream and bourbon until stiff.
- Stir about 1/3 of the whipped cream into the cheesecake filling to lighten it. Gently fold in the remaining whipped cream until everything is combined.
- Pour mixture into cooled gingersnap crust and refrigerate.
- In medium sautee pan, add blueberries, sugar and orange juice, tossing to coat. Cook over medium heat until berries start to break down and release their juices, about 6-8 minutes.
- Once it starts to bubble, reduce heat to low, add bourbon and simmer for about 3-4 minutes until it gets nice and syrupy.
- Cool compote completely before topping cheesecake.
- Top cheesecake with cooled blueberry compote and refrigerate a minimum of 8 hours, preferably overnight.