blueberry-lemon cheesecake bars

My grandfather and I share an affinity for blueberries. We both love the sweet-tangy taste and the beautiful color. Not to mention they're naturally good for you. He especially likes them sprinkled on a bowl of vanilla frozen yogurt and I like them in baked goods, pancakes and fruit salads ... or by the handful.

To celebrate the coming of spring and incoming company, I set out to make yummy blueberry-lemon cheesecake bars – which are fail-proof and can be made in advance (perfect for dinner guests). Not to mention that they're easy on the eyes with their crown of plump juicy berries, creamy middle and crumbly crust. Oh yeaaaaah.

I've made this dessert with reduced-fat cream cheese, and it's fine. But for really special occasions, use the full-fat version (or at least 1/2 full-fat cream cheese). The silky mouth-feel improves dramatically. If you really want to get fancy, say for Easter, top each piece with a little sprig of mint. The contrast of creamy white, blue berries and green herb will pop on your table, wowing your guests.

Blueberry-lemon Cheesecake Bars
  • 1 1/4 c graham cracker crumbs (about 9 graham crackers ground in a food processor)
  • 1/8 tsp cinnamon
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 stick butter, melted
  • 16 oz cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 lemons, juiced and zested (don't be skimpy!)
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 1 1/2 c blueberries (raspberries would be good, too)
  1. Preheat oven to 325*.  Spray the bottom of a 9x9 pan. In a bowl, mix the crust ingredients and press into the bottom of the pan. Bake for 12 minutes, or until golden.
  2. Add cream cheese, eggs, lemon juice and zest, and sugar to a large mixing bowl. Mix on high speed until creamy, being sure to scrape down the bowl periodically. Pour into crust and cover with berries. (Don't worry about pressing them into the cheesecake; they'll sink as it bakes.)
  3. Bake 35 minutes or until the center jiggles only slightly. Remove from oven and cool one hour at room temperature. Refrigerate three hours and slice into bars. Serve cold.

No comments:

Post a Comment