I’ve been on a juice cleanse for the past three days. That means absolutely no solid food. None. Thank god I made these blackberry lemon cheesecake bars a couple days ago and they’re gone now, or else I would be in trouble. These lemon cheesecake bars are AWESOME. I think I ate enough this past weekend to counteract the health benefits of this cleanse, though…
How to make cheesecake bars
You guys, these blackberry lemon cheesecake bars are SO EASY to make, although they do require some assembly work. The basic steps for whipping up a batch of these lemon cheesecake bars are:
Make the crust — The crust is a combination of graham crackers, butter, and sugar. Just pop all that into a food processor and pulse until the mixture resembles sand. Press the mixture into the prepared pan and bake until golden brown and fragrant.
Make the blackberry swirl — I know it seems like we’re going out of order here, but you need to prep the swirl topping before the cheesecake filling since it needs to cool most of the way before you can add it to the top of these bars. The blackberry puree is just fresh blackberries, sugar, and water that’s been cooked down on the stove and then strained to remove any seeds. Easy, right?
Make the cheesecake filling — To make the creamy cheesecake filling, you first need to whip the cream cheese and sugar until light and airy (this will take a few minutes). Then add the rest of the wet ingredients and continue mixing until everything is incorporated.
Assemble and bake the cheesecake bars — Spoon the cheesecake filling into the cooled crust. Dollop the cooled blackberry puree on top of the cheesecake layer and use the tip of a knife or a toothpick to create a lovely swirled pattern. Bake the blackberry lemon cheesecake bars until the filling is totally set. Let it cool completely in the fridge before slicing and serving!
How to store lemon cheesecake bars
Just like regular cheesecake, these blackberry lemon cheesecake bars should be kept in the fridge in a sealed container. You can eat these straight from the fridge, though! These bars will keep for about a week, but I sincerely doubt they’ll last until then.
If you have any questions about making these blackberry lemon cheesecake bars, just drop me a comment down below!
12 sheets graham crackers, pulsed until crumbled in a food processor (about 2 cups crumbs)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
6 tablespoons butter, melted
For the blackberry puree
6 oz fresh or frozen blackberries
1/4 cup granulated white sugar
1/4 cup water
For the cheesecake
16 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
2 large eggs, room temperature
1/2 cup granulated white sugar
1 tablespoon Meyer lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh Meyer lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon salt
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Butter a 9″x9″ glass pan. Using a food processor, pulse the cookies until they are completely broken down into a fine crumb and add the sugar and melted butter. Pulse a few more times until the mixture is like wet sand. Dump into the pan and press firmly into the bottom. Bake for 8-10 minutes for a nice golden color. Remove to cool.
In a small saucepan on medium low heat mix together the blackberries, sugar and water. Cook for 8-10 minutes until the blackberries are completely broken down. Place a fine mesh strainer over a bowl and with a silicone spatula press through all the liquid, disposing the solids. If the puree seems a little thin, return to the pot and bring to a boil to cook for an additional minute. Let cool.
Onto the cheesecake! Lower the temperature of the oven to 325ºF and bring water to boil in a teakettle.
In the bowl of your stand mixer or using a hand mixer with a large bowl, cream together the cream cheese sugar and lemon zest until light and airy about 3-4 minutes. Then add the sour cream and eggs one at a time until well combined.
Scrape down the sides and bottom and finally add the meyer lemon juice and salt. Mix to combine. Scrape everything together again and pour into the prepared pan.
Smooth the top of the cheesecake batter with a spatula and drizzle the blackberry puree on top of the cheesecake. With a skewer or chopstick, make a swirl pattern. Place the square pan into a larger pan and put both into the oven. Pour the boiling water into the larger pan so that it reaches about halfway up.
Bake for about an hour and fifteen minutes or until the middle no longer jiggles. Remove and let cool completely (about two hours) before removing from the pan.