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1/25/2014

Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars


These cheesecake bars are a dream. The lemony cheesecake matches perfectly with fresh blueberries and that buttery streusel really makes everything work. If you can’t find fresh blueberries, try ripe red raspberries or even blackberries. We really prefer to stick to fresh berries for this, not frozen, since we like how the fresh berries stay intact while baking.

When making these cheesecake bars, you really want them to be cold before cutting, so there is some time spent chilling the baked cheesecake. To speed things up a bit, place the cheesecake into your freezer for 30 minutes instead of the refrigerator for 1 hour before cutting into bars.
Yield: 9  Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes  Total time: 1 hour
INGREDIENTS
For the Crust
  • 9 graham cracker rectangles
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the Cheesecake Filling
  • 2 packages (8 oz each) cream cheese, softened
  • 2 eggs
  • 2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
  • 1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
For the Streusel Topping
  • 1 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Directions
  1. Heat oven to 325°F then line an 8- or 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
  2. If you have a food processor, add graham crackers, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon zest to it then cover and process until fine crumbs form. Add the melted butter then cover and process with until the cracker crumbs are evenly moistened. If you do not have or want to use a food processor, add graham crackers to a plastic bag then use something heavy such as a pan or rolling pan to bash the crackers until fine crumbs form. Then, add crumbs to a medium bowl along with 2 tablespoons of sugar, lemon zest and melted butter. Stir until the cracker crumbs are evenly moistened.
  3. Press graham cracker crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake 10 minutes until lightly toasted. Cool 10-15 minutes.
  4. While the graham cracker base cools, make the cheesecake bar filling: If using a food processor, wipe it with a paper towel to remove any crumbs from earlier then add cream cheese, eggs, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar. Cover then process until smooth and creamy. If you do not have or do not want to use a food processor, use a hand blender to blend cream cheese, eggs, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, the lemon juice and 1/2 cup of granulated sugar until smooth and creamy.
  5. Pour cheesecake filling over crust, and then top with blueberries.
  6. Make the streusel topping by adding brown sugar, flour and cold butter to a medium bowl then use a fork or your fingers to mix until crumbly, and then sprinkle over filling.
  7. Bake cheesecake 35 to 40 minutes or until topping is lightly browned and center is almost set (center should jiggle only slightly when moved).
  8. Cool 1 hour on at room temperature then refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled. Cut into 9 bars.

Source: inspiredtaste