If you love the refreshing flavors of lemon and the burst of sweetness from blueberries, then lemon blueberry cheesecake crumb bars are a dessert you must try. These bars bring together the zingy citrus taste of lemons, the juicy burst of blueberries, and the indulgence of creamy cheesecake, all in one irresistible package. Whether you’re hosting a party, celebrating a special occasion, or simply treating yourself, these bars will be the star of the show.
What are Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Crumb Bars?
Lemon blueberry cheesecake crumb bars are a delightful dessert made with layers of buttery crust, tangy lemon cheesecake filling, and a generous topping of sweet blueberries. They offer a perfect balance of flavors, with the zesty notes of lemon beautifully complementing the sweetness of blueberries and the richness of the cheesecake.
To make these heavenly bars, you will need the following ingredients:
- For the crust:
- 1 ½ cups all-purpose flour
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- ½ teaspoon baking powder
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cold and cubed
- 1 large egg
- For the lemon cheesecake filling:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- ½ cup granulated sugar
- 1 large egg
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- For the blueberry topping:
- 1 cup fresh or frozen blueberries
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Feel free to adjust the quantities based on your preferences or the number of servings you wish to make.
Making the Crust
The crust forms the foundation of these scrumptious bars. Follow these simple steps to create the perfect buttery crust:
- Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and line a baking dish with parchment paper.
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the flour, granulated sugar, baking powder, and salt.
- Add the cold, cubed butter to the dry mixture and use a pastry cutter or your fingertips to cut it into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs.
- Beat the egg in a separate bowl and pour it into the crumb mixture. Mix until the dough comes together.
- Press the dough evenly into the prepared baking dish to form the crust.
Preparing the Filling
The creamy and tangy lemon cheesecake filling adds a burst of flavor to these bars. Follow these steps to create the delightful filling:
- In a bowl, beat the softened cream cheese until smooth and creamy.
- Add the granulated sugar, egg, lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract to the cream cheese. Beat until well combined and smooth.
Adding the Blueberries
Now it’s time to add the fruity goodness of blueberries to our bars. Here’s what you need to do:
- In a small saucepan, combine the blueberries, granulated sugar, cornstarch, and lemon juice.
- Cook the mixture over medium heat, stirring constantly until the blueberries release their juices and the mixture thickens slightly.
- Remove the blueberry topping from heat and set it aside.
Creating the Crumb Topping
The crumb topping adds a delightful crunch and texture to the bars. Follow these steps to create it:
- In a separate bowl, combine ½ cup of the crust mixture (reserved from making the crust) with ¼ cup of oats and 2 tablespoons of granulated sugar.
- Mix the ingredients until they are well combined and form a crumbly texture.
Baking the Bars
With the crust, filling, blueberry topping, and crumb topping ready, it’s time to bake these bars to perfection:
- Pour the cream cheese filling over the crust and spread it evenly.
- Spoon the blueberry topping over the filling, distributing it evenly.
- Sprinkle the crumb topping over the blueberry layer, covering it entirely.
- Place the baking dish in the preheated oven and bake for 30-35 minutes or until the crust and topping turn golden brown.
Cooling and Chilling
Once the bars are baked to a beautiful golden hue, allow them to cool completely in the baking dish. Once cooled, transfer them to the refrigerator and chill for at least 2 hours or until firm. Chilling enhances the flavors and allows the bars to set properly.
Serving and Storage
When you’re ready to serve these delectable lemon blueberry cheesecake crumb bars, remove them from the refrigerator, cut them into squares, and transfer them to a serving plate. They can be enjoyed as they are or topped with a dollop of whipped cream and a sprinkle of fresh blueberries.
For storage, place the bars in an airtight container and keep them refrigerated. They will stay fresh for up to 3-4 days, allowing you to savor their deliciousness over time.
Tips and Variations
- Experiment with different types of berries. You can try using raspberries, strawberries, or a mix of berries for a unique twist.
- Add a touch of freshness by garnishing the bars with a sprig of mint or a dusting of powdered sugar.
- For an extra zing, consider adding a lemon glaze over the crumb topping. Simply mix powdered sugar and lemon juice until you achieve a smooth glaze consistency and drizzle it over the bars.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Can I use a graham cracker crust instead of the crumb crust? Yes, you can substitute the crumb crust with a graham cracker crust for a slightly different flavor and texture.
- Can I use frozen blueberries instead of fresh ones? Absolutely! Frozen blueberries work well too. Just make sure to thaw them before using and drain any excess liquid.
- Can I make these bars ahead of time? Yes, these bars are a great make-ahead dessert. Simply follow the recipe and refrigerate them until you’re ready to serve.
- Can I freeze lemon blueberry cheesecake crumb bars? Yes, you can freeze these bars. Ensure they are tightly wrapped or stored in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.
- Can I use a gluten-free flour substitute? Yes, you can use a gluten-free flour blend as a substitute for the all-purpose flour in the crust.
Indulge in the divine combination of tangy lemons, sweet blueberries, and creamy cheesecake with lemon blueberry cheesecake crumb bars. These delightful treats offer a burst of flavors and a tantalizing texture that will leave you craving more. Whether you’re serving them at a gathering or enjoying them as a personal treat, these bars are bound to impress. Follow the simple steps in this recipe, and soon you’ll be savoring the irresistible goodness of these homemade bars.
Q1: Can I use a graham cracker crust instead of the crumb crust? Yes, you can substitute the crumb crust with a graham cracker crust for a slightly different flavor and texture.
Q2: Can I use frozen blueberries instead of fresh ones? Absolutely! Frozen blueberries work well too. Just make sure to thaw them before using and drain any excess liquid.
Q3: Can I make these bars ahead of time? Yes, these bars are a great make-ahead dessert. Simply follow the recipe and refrigerate them until you’re ready to serve.
Q4: Can I freeze lemon blueberry cheesecake crumb bars? Yes, you can freeze these bars. Ensure they are tightly wrapped or stored in an airtight container to prevent freezer burn.
Q5: Can I use a gluten-free flour substitute? Yes, you can use a gluten-free flour blend as a substitute for the all-purpose flour in the crust.