These cheesecake bars are a dream. The lemony cheesecake matches perfectly with fresh blueberries and that buttery streusel really makes everything work. If you can’t find fresh blueberries, try ripe red raspberries or even blackberries. We really prefer to stick to fresh berries for this, not frozen, since we like how the fresh berries stay intact while baking.
When making these cheesecake bars, you really want them to be cold before cutting, so there is some time spent chilling the baked cheesecake. To speed things up a bit, place the cheesecake into your freezer for 30 minutes instead of the refrigerator for 1 hour before cutting into bars.
9 graham cracker rectangles (1-1/4 cups of cracker crumbs)
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
4 tablespoons butter, melted
2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
2 tablespoons grated lemon zest
1/4 cup fresh lemon juice
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups fresh blueberries
1 cup packed light brown sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
6 tablespoons cold unsalted butter
Heat oven to 325 degrees F. Line an 9-inch square pan with aluminum foil and lightly spray with non-stick cooking spray.
Add graham crackers, 2 tablespoons granulated sugar and 1 teaspoon lemon zest to the bowl of a food processor. Process until fine crumbs form. Add the melted butter then cover and process until blended.
Press graham cracker crumb mixture evenly into the bottom of the pan and bake until lightly toasted, about 10 minutes. Cool 10 to 15 minutes before adding the cheesecake layer.
While the graham cracker base cools, make the cheesecake bar filling. Wipe the food processor mostly clean with a paper towel then add cream the cheese, eggs, 2 tablespoons lemon zest, lemon juice and sugar. Process until smooth and creamy.
Spoon cheesecake filling over crust then top with blueberries.
Make the topping by adding brown sugar, flour, and cold butter to a medium bowl. Cut the butter into small cubes and then add them to the bowl. Using your fingers or a fork work the butter into the flour and sugar until crumbly. Scatter topping over the blueberries.
Bake until the topping is lightly browned and center is almost set (center should jiggle only slightly when moved), 35 to 40 minutes. Cool 1 hour at room temperature then refrigerate about 1 hour or until chilled. (Or freeze for 30 minutes). Cut into 9 bars.