It took me a while to learn to love cheesecake. Something about cheese as a cake didn’t sit with me quite right as a child. Cheese, love it. Cake, couldn’t get enough. But the two together? Eh… Overtime I continued to test my palate and now I will happily make (and eat) it for dessert.
For summer, my favorite version of cheesecake is light and refreshing—lemon blueberry flavored. It’s not as heavy as most cheesecakes, but still packs in plenty of flavor. If you are lucky enough to live in the great state of Maine (or vacation there in the summer), I encourage you to use Maine blueberries. It is the only change I would make to this recipe. Those little suckers have 10 times the flavor than the giant ones from the supermarket. (Unfortunately the frozen Wyman’s won’t work for this recipe since the juices will bleed all over the place. Much better for blueberry muffins).
The cheesecake bars are easy to make. The recipe uses your standard graham cracker crust and the filling takes minutes to put together. Be sure to leave plenty of time for cooling in the fridge!
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
- Butter for greasing
- 2 tablespoon sugar
- 1/8 tablespoon ground cinnamon
- 8 graham crackers
- 1/2 stick unsalted butter melted
- 16 ounces cream cheese room temperature
- 2 eggs
- 2 lemons zested and juiced
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
Graham Cracker Crust
Preheat oven to 325° F.
Grease the bottom of a 9 by 9-inch baking pan with butter. Place parchment paper in the pan, pressing down at the corners.
In a food processor or blender, combine the sugar, cinnamon and graham crackers until it reaches the consistency of breadcrumbs. Add the melted butter and pulse a couple of times to fully incorporate. Pour mixture into the lined baking pan and firmly pat down with your hands or the bottom of a glass.
Bake for about 12 minutes, or until set. Allow to cool completely.
In a bowl of a stand mixer, add cream cheese, eggs, lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar. Mix until well combined and a smooth consistency is reached, about 3 minutes. Pour onto the cooked graham cracker base and spread carefully and evenly. Sprinkle blueberries on top.
Bake in the oven (325° F) for 35 to 45 minutes, or until the center jiggles slightly. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 3 hours. Once set, remove from pan using the parchment lining and slice into 16 square bars.
Recipe adapted from Epicurean Mom.