Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
Blueberries are the true star here – cooked down into a compote to top a lusciously creamy no-bake cheesecake that’s made with a gluten-free crust. Apart from the way it tastes, the best thing about this cheesecake is that it is easy to prepare all components in advance so you can literally top, slice and serve just before you want to eat it.
Makes 8 large bars, 16 smaller bars
For the Base:
- 1 cup (100 g) almond flour
- 1/2 cup (60g) oat flour
- 1/4 cup (40g) raw sugar
- 3 tablespoons (27g) cornstarch
- 4 tablespoons (57g) salted butter, cold and cubed
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla essence
For the Filling:
- 3/4 cup (180ml) heavy cream (35% also known as whipping cream)
- 1 x 250g (8oz) brick style cream cheese, at room temperature,
- 1/4 cup (35g) icing sugar
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
For the Blueberry Compote topping:
- 2 cups fresh blueberries
- 1/4 cup (60ml) water
- 1/4 cup (50g) granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- 1 tablespoon hot water
Make the cookie base:
1. Preheat the oven to 350 F.
2. Grease and line an 8 x 8-inch square tin with parchment paper, making sure you have some overhang (this will help you lift the cheesecake out when it’s baked).
3. Pulse the flours, sugar and cornstarch in a food processor fitted with a metal blade a few times, until well-combined.
4. Add the butter and pulse until just combined. Your mixture should look a little bit like coarse sand, with some pieces of butter roughly the size of peas, some smaller.
5. Press the mixture into the prepared baking tin - use your fingertips, the bottom of a glass or a wide flat spatula to press the mixture in as tightly as possible.
6. Bake for 18-20 minutes. The base will be lightly golden brown by this time.
7. Set aside to cool completely while you prepare the filling and topping. You can place the pan in the fridge or freezer to speed things up once it’s nearly room temperature.
Make the cheesecake filling:
1. Beat the cream using handheld electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with a whisk until it forms soft peaks (3-4 minutes)
2. Beat the cream cheese until smooth and creamy in a separate bowl using handheld electric beaters or a stand mixer fitted with a raffle attachment.
3. Add the icing sugar and vanilla mix until combined. The mixture should be smooth and creamy.
4. Gently fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese using a rubber spatula. Try to be as gentle as possible so you don’t beat all the air out of the cream.
5. Place the filling in the fridge until you are ready to assemble.
Make the blueberry compote topping:
1. Combine 1 1/2 cups blueberries, 1/4 cup water, 1/4 cup granulated sugar and 2 teaspoons lemon juice in a medium pot and bring to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring often (about 5-6 minutes).
2. Add the remaining 1/2 cup blueberries and continue to cook over medium-high, stirring often for a further 4 minutes.
3. Combine the cornstarch and hot water in a small cup and mix to form a “slurry” (a thin paste).
4. Reduce the heat to low and carefully pour in the cornstarch mixture.
5. Cook the blueberry mixture for 2-3 more minutes over low heat, stirring continually, until the wooden spoon leaves a clear trail in the bottom of the pan when you stir.
6. Pour the blueberry mixture into a cool bowl, allow to come to room temperature and then chill in the fridge until you are ready to top and serve the cheesecake.
Assemble the cheesecake:
1. Leave the base of the cheesecake in the baking pan and pour over the cheesecake mixture. Use an offset spatula or a rubber spatula to smooth the top over the base evenly.
2. Loosely cover the pan with plastic wrap and refrigerate (minimum 4 hours) until you are ready to top and serve.
Top and serve the cheesecake:
1. Remove the chilled cheesecake from the baking pan, using the parchment overhang as “handles” to help. Place it on a wire rack or directly on a cutting board.
2. Remove the parchment from the bottom of the base, gently pulling it from underneath.
3. Spread the cooled blueberry topping evenly over the cheesecake, working slowly and gently as the cheesecake is not as firm as some. Spread the blueberries nearly to the edge.
4. You can serve this now or refrigerate until ready to serve.
You can make all components the day before you are serving this, topping the base with the cheesecake and refrigerating overnight. A few hours before you want to serve this, top the cheesecake with the blueberry topping and refrigerate until you are ready to serve.
SOURCE: Mardi Michels
Photo & Video: Mardi Michels
Mardi Michels is the author of In the French kitchen with kids (Appetite by Random House, 2018) and the popular blog eatlivetravelwrite.com. She lives in Toronto, Canada, where she teaches French and cooking at the elementary school level and adult cooking and baking classes. She is a full-time Francophile who owns a vacation rental property in Southwest France and spends as much time in France as possible!