As much as I love chocolate, lemon desserts have a special place in my heart. The bright and sunny tart yet sweet flavor is the perfect ending to a meal, especially as the temperatures begin to rise.
These lemon cheesecake bars are a specialty of mine. The lemon filling is light, airy and totally addicting. In college I made them constantly, my housemates and I would clean the pan in a matter of days.
I’m making these squares for a friend of mine who is celebrating the publishing of her third book this June. So if you’re looking for a great Summer read, check out Harvesting Ashwood!
So imagine my distress when my boyfriend announces he doesn’t like lemon. Lemon poppyseed muffins, lemonade, lemon ricotta pancakes, nothing. Just too lemon-y, he says.
Well these cheesecake squares tempted even him, my toughest lemon critic. They’re not overpowering like some lemon squares can be. Having lemon in cheesecake form is a great way to cut the tang of the fruit without losing its bright flavor.
So whether you’re a lemon-lover or not, give these bars a whirl. You might surprise yourself.
- 8 graham crackers (each 2 1/2 by 5 inches)
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 bars (8 ounces each) cream cheese, room temperature
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 eggs
- Finely grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
1. Preheat oven to 325º F. Line the bottom and sides of an 8-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang on all sides. Crimp overhang under the rim of pan.
2. In a food processor, blend the graham crackers and sugar until finely ground; add butter and pulse until moistened.
3. Transfer the crumb mixture into the prepared pan, and press gently. Bake until golden brown, 10 to 12 minutes. While crust is baking, make the filling.
4. To make the filling place the cream cheese in a food processor and blend until smooth. Add the sugar, eggs, lemon zest, and lemon juice then blend until smooth.
5. Pour mixture onto the crust in the pan and smooth the top. Bake until set (filling should jiggle only slightly when pan is gently shaken), for 30 to 35 minutes.
6. Cool completely in pan. Cover loosely with plastic wrap and chill until firm – at least 2 hours. Use foil overhang to lift the cheesecake out of the pan and cut it into 16 squares.