For the Crust
40 square shortbread cookies, crumbled (about 1-3/4 cups)
2 Tbsp. granulated sugar
6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
1 pinch fine sea salt
For the Cheesecake
3 cups blueberries
2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1-1/2 cups granulated sugar, divided
1 vanilla bean, halved and seeds scraped or 1 tsp. vanilla pean paste
1/4 tsp. fine sea salt
4 pkg. (8 oz. each) Philadelphis Cream Cheese, at room temperature
5 large eggs, at room temperature
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/3 cup powdered sugar
1 cup fresh blueberries
Preheat the oven to 350°F with a rack in the middle.
In a medium bowl, stir the cookie crumbs, sugar, butter, and salt to combine. Press the mixture evenly onto the base of a 9-inch springform pan.
Transfer the pan to the oven and bake the crust until lightly golden, 10 to 12 min. Let the crust cool to room temperature, then wrap aluminum foil around the bottom and side of the springform pan. Place springform pan in a large roasting pan. (You’ll be baking it in a hot water bath later.) Turn down the oven to 325°F.
Heat water in a pot or kettle until boiling. (You’ll use this for the waterbath.)
In a medium saucepan, combine the blueberries, lemon juice, ¼ cup granulated sugar, the scraped seeds of the vanilla bean, and salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, until the berries have broken down and are very soft, 4 to 5 min. Let the mixture cool slightly, then transfer to a food processor and blend until the mixture forms a relatively smooth purée. Cool to room temperature.
Strian blueberry mixture into a bowl through a fine mesh strainer to remove any stems or skins.
Add the cream cheese and the remaining 1-1/4 cups granulated sugar to a standup mixer and process until the mixture is very smooth. Add the eggs, one at a time, and process just until each is combined, scraping the bowl a few times throughout the process.
Pour the blueberry mixture into the cream cheese mixture. Using a spatula gently mix until completely incorporated and smooth. Do not overmix.
Pour the batter into the foiled-wrapped springform pan.
Tap the pan against the counter a few times to release any air bubbles in the batter. Place the pan in a larger roasting pan. Pour boiling water into the roasting pan until the water is about halfway up the sides of the cheesecake pan. Make sure that the water won't seep through your foil, you will end up with a soggy crust. Sometimes I will elevate my springform pan by placing a roasting grate underneath it so it's just barely above the water. Use your imagination.
Bake until the edge of the cheesecake is set but the center still jiggles slightly when you shake the pan, 60 to 75 min.
(If making mini cheesecakes, cook them for 40 minutes and leave them in the oven to cool. Same as below)
Turn the oven off and leave the cheesecake inside the oven with the door propped open for 30 to 40 min. Remove the pan from the oven and remove the cheesecake from the water bath. Cool to room temperature, about 1 hour, then refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
Gently run a knife around the edge of the chilled cheesecake, then remove the outer ring. Gently slide a large spatula around the outside edge of the cake to remove from the base, if desired.
In the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the whip attachment, whip the whipping cream and powdered sugar until medium peaks form. Spoon over the top of the cheesecake, then spread into an even layer. Garnish with blueberries.