I hope everyone had a great Easter!
For those of you trying to maintain a low-sugar diet like I am, I will throw you a quick warning on this recipe: this is just not one of those desserts!
However, the rest of my extended family is not partaking in this low-sugar plan, and
my mom told me I offered to be in charge of making a dessert for Easter. So I gotta give the people what they want!
And they want cheesecake.
This was actually my first attempt at making a cheesecake, and I think it turned out pretty damn delicious! The batter was super light and creamy and the flavor was mild and delicate, with each flavor standing out on it’s own without overwhelming each other.
I mean, even my chocoholic-certified uncle loved it. Admittedly, he forgot the chocolate cake he was supposed to bring at home, so he was “forced” to eat the cheesecake. His famous line is that any dessert that’s not chocolate is a waste of calories, but even he went back for seconds on this one!
So, now that I’ve convinced you that this cheesecake is worth making, let’s get to the recipe, shall we?
Lemon Blueberry Swirl Cheesecake
What You’ll Need:
Blueberry Filling Ingredients:
- 1.5 Cups fresh blueberries
- 1 Cup sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- 1 oz. water
- 1.5 Cups Graham cracker crumbs (I used all 3 blocks from the package – we’ll reserve some of the leftover crumbs for topping)
- 1/3 Cup melted butter
- 3 Packages cream cheese (8 oz. each)
- 1 Cup sugar
- 3 Eggs
- 1 tsp. Pure vanilla extract
- Zest of 2 lemons
- 1 Cup heavy cream (or whipping cream)
Ok, so now that you’ve gathered the ingredients, let’s start with the blueberry filling. You want to make this part first because the blueberries have to be completely cooled before you add them to the cheesecake. So do this part at least an hour before you start the rest!
Just dump the blueberries and sugar into a saucepan on the stove, on medium-high heat. I had never make a compote before and it just seemed weird to put fruit & sugar in a pot and heat it up, but trust me, it worked. If you need to turn up the heat a little to get them going, that’s fine too, but keep an eye on it.
Once the berries are starting to simmer (about 10 minutes), mix the cornstarch into the water. I used a 1 oz shot glass to measure the water. Who knew there was another use for these after college??
Then, pour the water/cornstarch mixture into the blueberries, and keep stirring it continuously until it starts to thicken up. Don’t let this just sit on the stove unattended to because it can burn very easily. Keep stirring!
Once it’s done, set it aside off the burner to cool. At this point you can also pre-heat the oven to 300° so it’s ready to go after we mix the cake batter.
Next, we’ll tackle the graham cracker crust. Just place all the graham crackers in a Ziploc baggie and smash them with a mallet until everything is pretty crunched up.
Measure out 1.5 cups and mix them with the melted butter. Then, place them in the bottom of a springform pan, shaking it and pressing down with your hands to even it out.
The remainder of the crumbs we will use to garnish the top of the cheesecake and each slice once we cut it.
Now, onto the cheesecake batter. Mix together the cream cheese and sugar with a mixer until well combined, or about 2-3 minutes.
Then, add the eggs one at a time and mix each egg for about 30 seconds before adding the next egg.
When you’re done with the eggs, beat in the vanilla extract and the lemon zest.
And finally, add in the heavy cream and beat until the mixture is completely smooth. Scrape everything down and then give the batter one final mix at HIGH speed for about 1 minute. I totally think this was key in having a light and creamy cheesecake. Mixing it at high speed adds lots of air into the batter and prevents that overly dense/heavy texture.
Now, pour the cheesecake batter over the prepared graham cracker crust.
Take the blueberry filling and spoon it in blobs carefully on top of the cake. Then, take the end of a spoon or a cocktail swizzle and gently swirl the blueberry into the cake, being careful not to touch the bottom crust layer. Do NOT overmix this or you won’t get the beautiful marble swirl effect!
Another key to making a creamy and perfectly cooked cheesecake is to bake it slowly and not too hot.
But the real secret is to wrap the pan in a “nest” made of tin foil, if you’re too lazy to make a water bath like I am (#sorrynotsorry). This somehow buffers the heat and allows the cheesecake to bake evenly throughout, from the sides to the center. I used 4 sheets of tin foil and just kind of built up a nest around the pan. I totally forgot to take a picture of this part which would’ve been really helpful (great job, Marissa), but you just need to kinda build it up around the edges exactly like a nest.
Bake the cheesecake for 65-75 minutes in the oven, and make sure not to open the oven door and let all the heat out as it cooks! You will know when it’s done if the surface of the cake is matte and no longer shiny. I added a few extra minutes to mine (probably around 80 mins total) because I wanted to make sure mine was completely done.
When you take it out, it’s ok if the center is still a bit jiggly. This will firm up more as it sets. Allow to cool to room temperature before moving it to the refrigerator to chill the rest of the way.
I decorated the top of the cake with a few slices of lemon zest, a few blueberries, and some of the leftover graham cracker crumbs. I also added a few forsythia flowers because they were just too perfect not to. (Please don’t eat these though – garnish only!)
I also recommend making a fresh whipped cream to serve with this. As you cut and serve each slice, top it with the whipped cream and garnish it with a few more graham cracker crumbs.
Everyone raved about the flavor and how light and creamy it was. And the whipped cream made the perfect final touch!
If you’d like the more concise version of the directions, keep scrolling below!
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Directions:
Blueberry Filling Directions:
- Pour blueberries & sugar into a pot over medium-high heat. Simmer for about 10 mins.
- Add the cornstarch to the water and mix well. Pour this into the berries.
- Continue to stir until it thickens up.
- Remove from stove and allow to cool completely (approx 1 hour).
- Place graham crackers in a Ziploc bag and smash into crumbs.
- Measure 1.5 cups of crumbs and mix with the melted butter until evenly coated.
- Press into the bottom of a spring form pan and set aside.
- Mix cream cheese and sugar with a mixer until smooth, about 2-3 minutes.
- Add the eggs, one at a time, and mix for 30 seconds before adding the next egg.
- Blend in the vanilla extract and the lemon zest.
- Add in the heavy cream and mix until competely smooth.
- Scrape down the bowl and give the batter one last mix at HIGH speed for 1 minute.
- Pour over the graham cracker crust.
- Make a foil “nest” that the pan will sit in while cooking.
- Cook the cheesecake for 65-80 minutes at 300° or until the surface no longer looks shiny.
- Allow the cheesecake to cool to room temp before moving it to the fridge to cool completely.
- Serve with fresh whipped cream and garnish with the remaining graham cracker crumbs.
If you’d like to get updates on my new recipes, be sure to sign up for my newsletter!