I love baking with fresh blueberries, don't you? They undergo a magical transformation when exposed to heat that makes them turn that beautiful color and burst on impact. The other day I knew I wanted to bake something for National Cheesecake Day, I mean, I'm kind of obsessed with cheesecake. Instead of doing something with chocolate or candies, I decided to use the fresh blueberries I had in my refrigerator. Stephen loves blueberry truffles so I figured he'd really enjoy these bars. I started off with a traditional graham cracker crust, then filled it with a vanilla cheesecake, topped it with those delicious berries and then cover it with a layer of sugary buttery crumble. Perfection! These bars scream summer to me! I think they'd be great with mixed berries or even peaches too! I know we'll be eating a few of these to celebrate, how about you?! For more cheesecake inspiration, click here!
Blueberry Crumble Cheesecake Bars
12 oz. cream cheese
½ c. sour cream
½ c. sugar
½ tsp. salt
1½ tsp. vanilla or vanilla bean paste
2 tsp. sugar
2 tsp. all-purpose flour
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 c. fresh blueberries, rinsed and patted dry
Graham cracker crust:
10 graham crackers, finely crushed
3 tbsp. sugar
4 tbsp. (½ stick) butter, melted
1 c. all-purpose flour
¼ c. brown sugar
¼ c. sugar
7 tbsp. butter, cold
1. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Line an 8x8 square baking pan* with parchment paper, leaving an overhang on at least 2 sides for easy removal.
2. In a medium size mixing bowl combine crust ingredients, then spread into prepared pan, creating an even layer. I pressed mine flat with the bottom, of a measuring cup. Place in oven and bake for 10 minutes. Remove and allow to cool while preparing the remaining components.
3. In a small mixing bowl, combine all blueberry ingredients, toss gently to combine, set aside.
4. In a medium size mixing bowl, combine all ingredients for crumble topping. Cut the butter in with a pastry blender until the mixture is coarse, set aside.
5. In the bowl of a stand mixer, beat together cream cheese, sour cream and sugar until smooth. NOTE: it's really important that the cream cheese, sour cream and eggs are at room temperature, otherwise you'll end up with a clumpy batter! With mixing speed on low, add vanilla, salt and one egg. Mix until combined, then add the remaining egg, mixing until incorporated.
6. Pour the cheesecake batter over the baked (and slightly cool) crust. Spread evenly with a spatula. Carefully place blueberry mixture over top, evenly covering the cheesecake. Finally, top with crumble. Place in oven and bake for 40-45 minutes or until the cheesecake has set and the crumble is lightly golden brown in color. Remove from oven and allow to cool for 1½ hours or until it reaches room temperature. Place in refrigerator and chill for at least 4 hours before removing, cutting and serving.
NOTE: *The pan will be completely full almost to the top, so make sure it's 2" in height! Also, this can be baked in a 9" round cheesecake pan... although the baking time may vary and the result will be a thinner cheesecake. I have not yet tried this, so I can't give exact time amounts.
Adapted from Tyler Florence, Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars | Makes approximately 12 bars