Tyler Florence’s Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

September 3, 2009

Last Friday was our friend and coworker MoJo JoJo's last day with us.  She moved back to her hometown to start her official awesome job as a CPA with a Master's degree.  You rock, MoJo JoJo!  You worked hard for that and you deserve an incredible career!

Tyler Florence's Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

So, for her last (sad) day with us on the job, I made Tyler Florence's Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars.  I've mentioned before that I need very little excuse to bake…full moon, Tuesday, whatever. When a friend leaves, you can bet I'm going to bake.  I've been wanting to try this recipe ever since I saw Tyler make it on his Tyler's Ultimate show on Food Network a long time ago.  These little dudes looked incredible, and have always stuck in my head.

My expectations were not too high.  These came out fabulous!  I loved them, and they disappeared pretty darn fast from the office.  So fast, in fact, that I didn't get a chance to photograph them and had to make another batch over the weekend.  Oh, darn!

Tyler Florence's Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

You can go to the Food Network site for Tyler's recipe for these scrumptious Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars, but let me give you my notes.  A few people mentioned in the reviews that they thought the lemon flavor was too tart, or their bars didn't set up well, or that the crust didn't stay together.  After making these twice, I've discovered the solutions to all of these little issues.  These are the changes I recommend:

  • The recipe calls for 9 graham crackers.  I used 1-1/2 cups of crumbs and it was perfect.
  • Use 1/4 tsp of cinnamon instead of 1/8 tsp in the crust.
  • Use an extra 2 Tblsp of butter in the crust (6 Tblsp).
  • Use 1/4 cup of fresh lemon juice in the filling.  The recipe calls for the juice of 2 lemons, which we know can vary wildly.  The first time I made these, the juice of 2 small lemons yielded 1/4 cup.  That produced the perfect texture in the filling, and the blueberries didn't bleed into it at all.  The bars also cut beautifully.  The second time, I had medium size lemons so I used the juice of 3 halves, measuring about 1/3 cup.  Although I really liked the bit of extra lemon tang, the bars were a bit less firm, and the berries did bleed into the cheesecake somewhat.  The bars also cut a little less pretty.  All of the photos here are from the second batch, so you can see what I'm talking about.  So, 1/4 cup juice is the key!  And do use fresh juice for these!
  • Even if you use less juice, still use the zest of 2 lemons.  It's a real flavor booster and complements the blueberries beautifully.
  • Make sure your berries are completely dry after washing them.
  • I had a hard time telling when the bars were done, so I just stuck to the 35 minute baking time and they were on the money.

Tyler Florence's Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Bars

This is a SUPER easy recipe and I just adore it!  It's going into my permanent file, and I'll be making it regularly.  It's creamy and rich and luscious, but also fruity and tangy.  It's a winner!  I'm entering it into this week's Tyler Florence Fridays, so check it out.  They post a roundup each Friday of all the Tyler recipes submitted for the week, and one recipe gets to be on Tyler's blog.  Fun, huh?

Next time, I'm going to sprinkle a few raspberries in with the blueberries.  Try this one!  You'll lurve it!  (We miss you, MoJo JoJo!)


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18 Comments so far

  1. Posted by grace

    September 3, 20099:03 am

    love it. love the thick crust, love the whole, gorgeous berries on top. what a perfect bite.
    .-= grace´s last blog post … banana bar bungle =-.

  2. Posted by noble pig

    September 3, 20092:53 pm

    I still have blueberries on the tree and these look awesome.
    .-= noble pig´s last blog post … It Took Me Thirty-Eight Years =-.

  3. Posted by BigSis

    September 3, 20094:24 pm

    Hey thanks, Grace! I loved the thick crust. It really stood up to all of the flavors on top of it. I think a thin crust might get soggy with the cheesecake on top of it, and this didn’t at all. The berries break down just enough to be deliciously tender! So good!

  4. Posted by BigSis

    September 3, 20094:25 pm

    Hi Noble Pig! I would totally try these while you have access to some great fresh berries! They’re awesome!

  5. Posted by Cathy - wheresmydamnanswer

    September 4, 200910:22 am

    Oh MY – you are killing me – I cannot even begin to treat myself til after Boot Camp.. Hehehe!!
    .-= Cathy – wheresmydamnanswer´s last blog post … Needed PLEASE: Fitness Advice =-.

  6. Posted by BigSis

    September 4, 20094:06 pm

    Hey Cathy, these would be a great post-boot-camp treat! And you cut them REALLY small, so how bad could they be? ;-D

  7. Posted by Kim

    September 4, 20099:43 pm

    I love all the notes that you’ve compiled – great advice. I always hear rave reviews on these bars – they look terrific. Welcome to TFF!
    .-= Kim´s last blog post … Corn Chowder with Chorizo – Recipe #39 =-.

  8. Posted by BigSis

    September 5, 20099:01 am

    Hey, Kim, thanks for coming by and for the comment. These bars definitely got rave reviews at my office, and I’ll make them again and again!

  9. Posted by Jenny

    September 5, 20091:38 pm

    Raspberries would be a nice addition to this.
    .-= Jenny´s last blog post … Tyler Florence Fridays: A new twist on an old favorite =-.

  10. Posted by BigSis

    September 5, 20091:49 pm

    Hi Jenny! Thanks for taking the time to come by! I *really* want to to try these with raspberries, but I’ve already made two batches in the last week, and raspberries won’t be around much longer!

  11. Posted by Joanne

    September 5, 200912:09 pm

    I have been meaning to make these for a while! They look incredibly delicious. Definitely a great dessert. Welcome to TFF, I hope we see you here often.
    .-= Joanne´s last blog post … Old-Fashioned Blueberry Cake =-.

  12. Posted by BigSis

    September 5, 200912:25 pm

    Hi Joanne! Thanks for the welcome; I think TFF is going to be lots of fun. It looks like you and I are on the same”blueberry” theme these days!

  13. Posted by DebinHawaii

    September 6, 20092:54 am

    I love the blueberry-lemon combo. These look really good. Welcome to TFF!
    .-= DebinHawaii´s last blog post … Jasmine-Citrus Green Tea Granita Float–A "Simple Saturday Sipper" =-.

  14. Posted by BigSis

    September 6, 20096:47 am

    Thanks, Deb! I love the combo too, in fact, I just made Sheila Lukins’ Lemon Blueberry Bread and will be posting on it soon!

  15. Posted by Natashya

    September 6, 200912:10 pm

    Delish! They look gorgeous. I hope you saved me one!
    .-= Natashya´s last blog post … French Bread, French Soup, Garlic, and Eggs. =-.

  16. Posted by BigSis

    September 6, 20093:31 pm

    Hi Natashya! Thanks so much! They were VERY delish!

  17. Posted by chaya

    September 6, 20094:32 pm

    Thanks for the tips to make the recipe work even better. This looks delicious and you are right. Now is the time to take advantage of the summer fruits remaining. I may make this for next week’s TFF.
    .-= chaya´s last blog post … Our Mystery Food has a Sister =-.

  18. Posted by BigSis

    September 6, 20095:34 pm

    Hi, Chaya! Thanks for coming by! This recipe is really a winner, and I think you will love it!


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