I doubled this recipe and made these for a formal English afternoon tea event and they were snatched up in seconds! They are a baker’s joy: easy, fairly quick to make, and over-the-top yummy!
Graham Cracker Crust
1 cups (120 grams) graham cracker crumbs (about 8 full-sheets)
3 T (40 grams) granulated sugar
3-1/2 T (50 grams) unsalted butter, melted
Preheat oven to 325°F. Lightly spray a mini-cheesecake pan and set aside. These look like straight sided muffin tins and have removable bottoms. These pans are great thing to have, but if you don’t, a vertical cupcake liner set into a cupcake pan will suffice. (My mini-cheesecake pan has 12 cavities, so if you only have one pan, you’ll have to improvise since the recipe makes 16. I ended up saving everything and baking a mini-batch a few days later).
Combine the graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a mixing bowl and stir until well combined. Evenly distribute the mixture between all 12 cavities of the mini-cheesecake pans, making sure to press each one down firmly into an even layer. Bake at 325°F for 5 minutes, remove from the oven and set aside to cool. Keep oven temperature at 325°F.
Lemon Cheesecake Filling
16 ounces cream cheese softened to room temperature (two packages)
1/2 cup (100 grams) granulated sugar
1/4 cup (60 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
Zest of 1 lemon
1 tsp. vanilla paste or vanilla extract
2 large eggs, room temperature
In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment, or in a large mixing bowl using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese and sugar until smooth. Add the lemon juice, lemon zest, and vanilla extract and mix until fully combined, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed. Then, add in the eggs one at a time and mix on low speed until just combined.
Evenly distribute the cheesecake filling between all cavities. Then add 1 tsp. of blueberry swirl (see below) to each cheesecake and swirl with a toothpick or knife. Bake at 325°F for 20 minutes or until the tops of the cheesecakes are set. If you jiggle the pan, the cheesecakes shouldn’t jiggle too.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool at room temperature for at least 1 hour. Once cooled, remove the cheesecakes from the muffin pan, place them in an airtight container, and transfer to the refrigerator to chill for at least 3-4 hours or overnight. Once the cheesecakes are chilled, serve and enjoy!
1 cups (140 grams) fresh blueberries
1 T (13 grams) granulated sugar
1 tsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tsp. cornstarch
2 tsp. water
Combine the blueberries, sugar, and lemon juice in a saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the berries begin to soften and release their juices, mashing the berries as it cooks. Once the mixture begins to bubble, whisk together the water and cornstarch then add it to the saucepan. Allow to cook for another 1-2 minutes, continuing to mash the berries and stirring, until the mixture has thickened.
Once the mixture has thickened, remove from the heat. Place a fine-mesh strainer over a heat-safe bowl, and carefully strain the blueberry mixture through it. Discard any solids from the strainer and set aside the blueberry sauce to cool.
Mini-cheesecakes can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. They will also freeze well for up to 3 months. Store in a freezer bag or container, thaw overnight in the refrigerator.
Adapted from Live Well Bake Often