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FRESH BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE WITH HOMEMADE CRUST

FRESH BLUEBERRY CHEESECAKE WITH HOMEMADE CRUST

Luscious Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars: A Refreshing Summer Treat

These Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars are the perfect dessert for any warm weather occasion. They boast a nutty graham cracker crust, a creamy lemon cheesecake filling, and a vibrant blueberry topping, creating a symphony of textures and flavors in every bite.

Ingredients:

  • For the Nutty Graham Cracker Crust:

    • 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (homemade or store-bought)
    • 1/2 cup old-fashioned rolled oats (or quick-cooking oats)
    • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts (or your favorite nut)
    • 2 tablespoons packed light brown sugar
    • 1/2 cup melted butter or margarine
  • For the Cream Cheese Filling:

    • 1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened to room temperature
    • 1 (14-ounce) can sweetened condensed milk (not evaporated milk)
    • 1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
    • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • For the Fresh Blueberry Topping:

    • 2 cups fresh blueberries (or frozen blueberries, thawed and patted dry)
    • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
    • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    • 1/2 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

Instructions:

  1. Make the Crust: Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C). In a large bowl, combine the graham cracker crumbs, rolled oats, chopped nuts, brown sugar, and melted butter. Mix until everything is well incorporated and resembles coarse sand. Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of an 8x8 inch baking pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

  2. Bake the Crust: Bake the crust for 10-12 minutes, or until lightly golden brown. Remove from the oven and let cool completely on a wire rack.

  3. Whip Up the Filling: In a large mixing bowl, using an electric mixer on medium speed, cream together the softened cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk until smooth and light. Beat in the lemon juice and vanilla extract until fully combined. The filling should be thick and creamy.

  4. Pour and Chill: Pour the cheesecake filling over the cooled crust. Spread into an even layer using a spatula. Refrigerate the cheesecake bars for at least 3 hours, or until the filling is completely set.

  5. Blueberry Topping Time: In a saucepan over medium heat, combine the blueberries, sugar, cornstarch, cinnamon, nutmeg, and water. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Cook for 2 minutes, or until the mixture thickens and becomes glossy. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice. Let the blueberry topping cool slightly before using.

  6. The Grand Finale: Once the cheesecake bars are chilled and set, pour the cooled blueberry topping evenly over the top. Refrigerate the cheesecake bars for at least another hour, or until the topping is completely set.

  7. Slice and Serve!: Cut the cheesecake bars into squares and serve cold. Enjoy this delightful dessert with a cup of tea or coffee for a perfect afternoon pick-me-up.

Tips:

  • For a richer crust flavor, toast the rolled oats in a dry skillet over medium heat until golden brown before adding them to the crumb mixture.
  • Don't have fresh blueberries? You can substitute 1 cup of frozen blueberries, thawed and patted dry, for the fresh ones.
  • Feel free to get creative with the topping! Fresh raspberries, strawberries, or a combination of berries would also be delicious.
  • Leftover cheesecake bars can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

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