I've been a huge fan of Aki and Alex of the blog Ideas in Food ever since I was a little chef-ling burning meat as a line cook in Boston. With their newest book, Gluten-Free Flour Power, they turn their considerable intellect to gluten-free recipes, developing unique solutions for folks who maintain a gluten-free diet. —Kenji
As Aki and Alex say in their new book, one of the hardest things to get right about cheesecake is that crust. Most often, it's a store-bought graham cracker crust that is overly buttery and sweet. To solve this problem, they decided to flip the whole thing upside down: Rather than putting a dense, sweet crust under their cheesecake, they top it with a delicate lavender-scented streusel.
"One day," they write, "Aki had an epiphany and decided to bake the streusel cheesecake in a [traditional] piecrust, and just like that, we had a new favorite: cheese-cake pie." A cheesecake–pie crossover with dual crusts, neither one too sweet or rich, is a genius move. This version takes it one step further by adding a sweet and tangy blueberry layer underneath the cheesecake.
It's made by cooking down fresh blueberries with sugar and a pinch of salt, then setting them with a tapioca and cornstarch slurry. You pour the blueberry layer into the bottom of the pie crust, top it with a classic cheesecake layer made with sour cream, cream cheese, and egg, then par-bake it for 15 minutes, just until the layers begin to set.
Finally, the streusel goes on top, and the pie is baked for another 40 minutes. As with any good cheesecake, it's best to serve this one chilled so the layers take on a light, creamy texture.