Oct 6 09
by cara
at 7:49 PM
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Crumb Topped Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Bars

I’ve been working hard on a post that is a little different from my usual posts, and I am really really struggling with it.  I’m trying to “find my voice”, I suppose.  I’m trying to convey serious information without writing a dry, boring, clinical post.  I want to keep it light hearted and in tune with the rest of my blog posts.  I was hoping to have this post ready to go today, but I’m still not happy with it.  Since it is driving me crazy, I’m stepping away and sharing something a little more light hearted: this yummy recipe!

When I was doing my menu planning this week, I rattled off several dessert options for The Picky Apple to choose from, all new and untried.  When he heard “Crumb Topped Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Bars” he said “THAT ONE!” before I even finished the options.  I hit several of his keywords: blueberry, lemon, and cheesecake.  I was leaning toward some brownies, myself, so I guess that’s what I get for asking his opinion.  (He should have KNOWN I wanted him to pick the brownies, right ladies?)  But no harm done.  These turned out great!  Love the flavors!  The only change I might make next time is to double (?) the cheesecake layer….the crust and crumb are both really rich.  Of course, then they might not really be bars anymore.  Then it might just be cheesecake.

Crumb Topped Blueberry Lemon Cheesecake Bars

Crumb Topped Blueberry-Lemon Cheesecake Bars

recipe from Emily at Sugar Plum

Ingredients:
Crust:

  • 2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter, softened
  • 1 cup granulated sugar

Filling:

  • 12 ounces cream cheese, (1 1/2 packages) softened
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons grated lemon zest
  • 1 teaspoon almond extract
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1 pint fresh blueberries

Topping:

  • 1 cup packed brown sugar
  • 3/4 cup unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped almonds, toasted
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter, cut into small pieces


Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Line a 13×9-inch pan with foil and grease bottom and sides using preferred method.

To make the crust, in a medium bowl, sift together flour, baking powder and salt. In a large bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together butter and sugar until creamy, about 1-2 minutes; reduce mixer speed to low and beat in flour mixture until just combined and crumbly. Press mixture into bottom of prepared pan. Bake for 15 minutes or until light golden around edges; remove from oven.

To make the filling, in a medium bowl, using a mixer on medium speed, beat together cream cheese and sugar until creamy, about 1 minute. Beat in lemon juice, zest and almond extract until combined. Beat in eggs until combined, about 1 minute; pour filling over the top of crust, and evenly sprinkle with blueberries. Return pan to oven and bake for 20 minutes, or until set.

To make the topping, in a medium bowl, stir together brown sugar, flour, almonds, cinnamon and salt, until combined; knead in butter using fingertips or a fork, until ingredients are well incorporated and start to clump together. Sprinkle the crumbly mixture evenly over the cheesecake filling. Return pan to oven and bake an additional 20 minutes or until golden brown. Cool for an hour before lightly covering and chilling for 2 hours, or until cold. Lift foil out of pan and slice cheesecake into rows, 3×5, to make 15 bars.

Makes 15 bars

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