For the cookie base:
- 1 cup ground graham crackers
- 1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
For the blueberry cheesecake filling:
- 16oz regular cream cheese, at room temperature
- 1/2 cup + 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 3 eggs, at room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or paste
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon zest
- 1/4 cup sour cream, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen)
For the cookie crust:
- Preheat the oven to 350°F /180°C.
- Spray or butter an 8-inch square pan. If you want to line the pan, use a piece of parchment paper covering the bottom and two sides. You will have two sides without paper. It makes it easier to remove the cheesecake when it's cold; you lift the paper and take out the block of cheesecake.
- Grind cookies in the food processor, add the melted butter, and mix until the mixture looks like wet sand. Or mix already crushed cookies in a bowl with the melted butter and mix with a spoon.
- Dump this mixture into the prepared baking pan and press firmly onto the bottom.
- Bake for 10 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack while making the filling.
- Lower the oven to 325°F/170°C.
For the blueberry cream cheese filling:
- Mix the softened cream cheese in a large bowl until very smooth. You can use a handheld mixer or wire whisk. Mixing the cheese by hand should not be a problem if the cheese is at room temperature. If using an electric mixer, use it only for this part and at the lowest temperature. We don't want to incorporate air into the batter.
- Gradually add sugar and beat until sugar is very well incorporated.
- Add eggs all together, mixing until incorporated and scraping down the sides of the bowl. Don't be tempted to beat.
- Add vanilla, lemon zest and sour cream stirring to incorporate.
- Add the blueberries to the cream cheese mixture and stir with a spatula. Don't crush the berries.
- Pour the batter into the prepared pan.
- Bake the cheesecake for 30-35 minutes, until the center jiggles slightly and the sides are a little puffed. The time can vary depending on your oven.
- Remove from the oven and carefully run a smooth-bladed knife around the sides of the pan to loosen up any batter that might've stuck. If it's too tender, let it cool more before doing this. It will help with not developing cracks as it shrinks.
- Cool completely to room temperature in the pan on a wire rack, cover in plastic wrap (still in the pan), and refrigerate for at least 8 hours. I chill it for 1 or 2 days for the creamiest consistency before removing from the pan and eating it.
- Organization: read the recipe first and ensure you have ingredients at the correct temperature, equipment, and enough workspace. This will make the process so much easier.
- Baking time: consider that all ovens and pans are different, even if they look similar. The baking time in my recipes is as accurate as it can be, but it might take you more or less time. You can use a thermometer(like the OXO oven thermometer) to check that your oven is at the right temperature. I recommend you keep track of how your oven works and what tiny details you might need to adjust.
- Extra thick crust: if you like a larger ratio of crust to filling, use 1 1/2 cups of crumbs and 6 tablespoon of butter.
- Clean cut cheesecake dessert bars: chill the baked cheesecake in the pan for several hours and cut them cold. It's the easiest way to get clean squares. Wipe the knife in between cuts so you have a clean knife each time.
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 30 minutes
- Category: Cheesecakes
- Method: Baking
- Cuisine: American
Keywords: blueberry cheesecake bars