I feel like cheesecake seems daunting?? right?? The whole water bath thing, not to mention they can take hours in the oven. Oh and don't forget the dreaded cracking across the top, even though it has no impact whatsoever on the taste people act like its a really BIG deal.
Here's the thing though- cheesecake really isn't all that scary and everyone loves it because it seems fancy and difficult. So I thought, how do I make cheesecake everyday easy? Like the kind of easy you whip up on a Sunday afternoon just because you want cheesecake on Sunday night. Cheesecake bars baby. And because I am extra I threw in a blueberry swirl [but it's optional ;)].
These cheesecake bars start with a graham cracker crust. Graham crumbs, butter, white sugar, brown sugar, & a pinch of salt- nothing fancy. The brown sugar gives the crust a deeper caramel flavor while the white sugar lets it crisp up a bit.
But let's be real we all know the star of the show is the cheesecake filling, and this one.... well you better make it and see for yourself. WOWZA.
It is the perfect combination of tangy and creamy while being perfectly sweet. (I really dislike cheesecake that just tastes like you gnawed off a chunk of cream cheese right off the brick!) It is deliciously dense (thank you sour cream) with a pop of lemon juice to brighten the flavors and the swirl of homemade blueberry jam. (I was actually gifted this blueberry jam but I will include my recipe for it at the bottom. If you don't want the extra step of making your own you can always use store bought or try blueberry pie filling instead) The little pop of fruit makes it a great dessert for spring and summer time. It comes together easily with a hand or stand mixer through a simple creaming method.
Okay Lauren, this sounds too easy for cheesecake... what aren't you telling us??
It really is simple. Mix the ingredients for the crust and bake that off. While that's in the oven, cream together the filling. Dollop on your jam and swirl around for a supremely satisfying moment before you pop it in the oven at 325 degrees. The key to perfect cheesecake is baking it low and slow, while being sure not to over bake it. When you over bake it the texture ends up curdled or dry and NO ONE wants that. Cheesecake bakes to an internal temperature of 150 degrees F. If you don't have a food thermometer you will bake the cheesecake until it is matte all across the top and until the center is only barely moves when jiggled. [Jiggle: (a verb) move about lightly and quickly from side to side] Truthfully, knowing when a cheesecake is done is the hardest part but when you get it right. MAGIC. Then pop it in the fridge where it will set as it cools!
Let's see the recipe!
And don't forget about the jam!
As always, send me a message on instagram if you make these or tag me in your final results!!