Nothing beats a creamy and intensely delicious cheesecake. This lemon blueberry cheesecake doesn’t disappoint. It has that tangy sweetness we love from this flavour combination plus the creaminess of a perfect cheesecake. It’s the perfect recipe to celebrate!
How to Make a Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
When I started to develop this recipe, I knew I wanted to get that perfect balance of the tanginess from the lemon and the sweetness of the blueberries. It sounds easy, but you feel it in your whole body when you nail it! For the base, I used a Graham Cracker / Digestive Biscuits base, which is pretty classic and standard. For the filling, it’s my all-time favourite vanilla cheesecake recipe with the addition of lemon zest and juice.
Many people think that it’s the lemon juice that adds more lemonyness to baked goods, but actually, the zest is the MVP. Lemon zest has lots of oils in it and when you use a fine grater, like a Microplane grater, to get it, you release them. This adds that delicious aroma and also lots of flavour to the recipe. Finally, I made a blueberry sauce and half of it goes to the filling and the other half goes on top for the final presentation.
Tips for Getting a Creamy Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
I consider myself a cheesecake lover and connoisseur. That’s because, when you love a dish, you probably have tried it several times. The thing is, that also exposes me to a great deal of deception. There’s nothing worse than a dry, crumbly, tasteless cheesecake. However, when you get it right, it’s soft, silky, creamy and intensely delicious. Here are a few tips to guarantee you’ll get the perfect result:
- Don’t skip the bain-marie: Many recipes ask for a classic bain-marie where you wrap the springform pan in tin foil, cling film or whatever clumsy way you can. I used to have nightmares of water seeping into my cheesecake! It always found its way in. That’s why I switched to an indirect bain-marie or a steam baking of sorts. There’s a baking tray on an inferior level with boiling water and on the level above is your Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake. This still means that the cooking process is more gentle without the risk of flooding. And believe me, there is a difference in texture without that tray! I once forgot and I had a soufflé as a result with a dry and crumbly interior.
- Use full-fat ingredients: If you’re having cheesecake, you must know it’s not a light option. If you want the result to be extra silky, using full-fat ingredients such as full-fat cream and sour cream is definitely the way to go.
- Don’t over-bake: Don’t wait until the cheesecake is completely set in the oven before removing it. If you shake it carefully, it should wiggle like gelatin. Once it cools down and gets refrigerated overnight, it will finish to set. This guarantees that creamy interior we all swoon for.
- Be aware of your oven temperature: Ovens are tricky tools. It can take months to get to know your oven. If you feel like your food constantly takes less time to cook than what’s written in the recipe, get an oven thermometer. I measure the temperature and then mark the spot on the dial for my most used temperatures. I’ve had ovens with 50 degrees of difference from the settings! If the oven is too hot, it could get you a crumbly texture even with the bain-marie.
That Blueberry Sauce, Though!
In the lemon and blueberry battle, I think the main character has to be that blueberry sauce. Don’t get me wrong, the lemon really plays an important part here… but that blueberry sauce, though! It’s really simple to make. You’re going to cook blueberries, sugar, lemon juice and cornstarch until you get a runny jam texture. Then you remove it and let it cool down completely. Half of that sauce is going to go to the filling of this Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake and the other half will go on top as a sauce. I love that you get that marbling effect with the sauce in the filling, it looks really pretty!
Replacements for Blueberries? I got you
If you don’t have/can’t find blueberries, you can use any berry you like except strawberries. Strawberries have a lot more water than other berries, so the formula would need to be adapted there to get the right amount of sauce. However, if you like, you can use raspberries, cherries or blackberries. I mean, doesn’t a Lemon Cherry Cheesecake sound amazing? How I wish it was cherry season right now! You can use any of these berries in a fresh format or in a frozen format.
Ingredients for a Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
If you’re looking to make the Lemon Blueberry Cheese of your dreams, here are the key ingredients you need to look for:
- Crackers/Biscuits for the base: Since the base is made out of crackers/biscuits, it’s important that those are tasty. Every country and region has one cookie that they use for the purpose of dessert bases. They’re usually flavoured like vanilla or butter and are pretty neutral but still tasty. If you’re not familiar with the one where you live, try the classic Graham Crackers (US) or Digestives (UK). If elsewhere, butter crisps such as Jules Destrooper work well.
- Cream Cheese: Use full-fat cream cheese and avoid homemade cream cheese. I have nothing against homemade cream cheese in general, but industrial cream cheese has stabilizers in the formula that help the cheesecake bind together and be more… stable!
- Sour Cream: Sour cream is also important. In some countries, you can’t get it that readily, in which case you can swap it for greek style natural yoghurt.
- Lemons: For this Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake you can use lemons or limes with the same amounts. So if you’re more of a lime person, go for it. Try to get lemons that look nice and are ripe so that they’re both tangy and sweet.
- Blueberries: Again, you can use both fresh or frozen blueberries. You do want to avoid wrinkly-looking old blueberries since those have less juice in them and the flavour starts to change as well.
Other cheesecake recipes
Now that we have established that we both love cheesecakes and are obsessed over that perfect texture, here are other cheesecake-related recipes you might like if you like this Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake:
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake
For the blueberry sauce
- 450 g blueberries fresh or frozen
- 90 g sugar
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- 3 tsp lemon juice
For the base
- 220 g Graham Crackers / Digestive Biscuits or similar
- 5 tbsp unsalted butter melted
- ½ tsp salt
For the filling
- 900 g cream cheese approximately 4 packages, at room temperature
- 250 g granulated sugar
- 2 lemons zest only
- 220 g sour cream at room temperature
- ½ tsp salt
- 4 eggs at room temperature
- 4 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tsp vanilla extract or vanilla essence
- 200 ml whipping cream cold
- 2 tbsp icing sugar
- 1 lemon sliced and quartered
- lemon zest to finish
For the blueberry sauce
- Place everything in a saucepan and cook over medium heat until it thickens. It should look like a loose jam and you should be able to see the bottom of the pan when you stir. With your spatula, flatten out the blueberries as they cook so that some of them disintegrate a bit.
- Remove the sauce from the pan and let it cool down completely. Divide it in two: one half will go to the filling and the other half on top.
For the base
- Process the cookies until fine.
- Add the salt and butter and mix.
- Cut baking paper to the size of the base of the pan and also the sides. Stick them in place with vegetable oil that you can spread with a piece of kitchen paper.
- Press the base mix onto the base of the pan using the base of a glass and then with your fingers around the edges. Take the pan to the freezer for at least 15 minutes.
For the filling
- Beat the cream cheese with the sugar until it's really soft and homogeneous. Every once in a while stop and scrape down the sides and bottom of the bowl to make sure that everything gets beaten.
- Add the lemon zest and sour cream, salt and beat again.
- Reduce the speed to a minimum and add one egg at a time. You know that you can add the next one when the previous one is incorporated.
- Add the lemon juice and vanilla extract and mix them in with a spatula.
- Pour half of the mix onto the base and add dollops of the blueberry sauce. Use a knife or skewer to marble it. Be careful not to disturb the base below. Repeat with the other half of the filling.
- Bake the cheesecake in a preheated oven at 180°C / 350°F. When you preheat the oven you want to have a baking pan with water at the bottom layer of your oven so the water preheats, too. If you forget to do it, you can add boiling water. The cheesecake goes on the level above it (not in the water). In this way, the cheesecake still cooks gently but you remove the risk of the water going into the cake.
- As soon as it goes into the oven, reduce the heat to 150°C /300°F.
- Bake the cheesecake for 1h-1h30min or until you see it starting to get golden on top and it jiggles like gelatin if you shake it slightly. Halfway through the cooking process, check that the water level hasn't dropped too much. If it has, fill it up with boiling water.
- Wait for it to cool down completely and place it in the fridge overnight or for at least 8 hours.
- Unmould the cheesecake by opening the springform pan and peeling off the paper on the sides. To remove it from the base I use a cake lifter.
- Spread the other half of the blueberry sauce on top.
- Beat the cream and icing sugar until it becomes fluffy and keeps its shape if you move it around with a spatula or whisk.
- Use a pastry bag fitted with a star nozzle to make 4 rosettes at the edge as if they were 12, 3, 6 and 9 on a clock. Then between them make more rosettes depending on the amount of portions you'll be splitting the cheesecake in. In my case, it was 12 portions.
- Garnish with lemon and lemon zest.