Remember this post back in February, when I showed you photos of my house being turned into a filming studio? And photos of these amazing Blueberry Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars?
Well I’m still getting asked about this recipe, and now 5 months later, I’m finally delivering! First, grab some popcorn and press play on this little video below, then we’ll talk dessert. (Or breakfast, or midnight snack. This is a no-judge zone.)
If you’ve never had an Italian style ricotta cheesecake, it’s different than a traditional cream cheese style one. Ricotta has a natural texture to it; a little bit of graininess, and pureeing it with sugar until it’s glossy and smooth really helps with the overall texture of these bars, but know that it’s supposed to be different than a normal cheesecake. Look at the difference though, comparing what ricotta looks like straight out of the container:
and then after pureeing in in the food processor with some sugar:
I love this because it’s a little bit different, and is still creamy and rich without feeling really heavy. Here’s a couple of tips though, if you’ve never baked ricotta cheesecake:
1. Do not over-bake. If anything, under-bake just a little bit. Over-baking will instantly dry out the cheesecake and cause it to be grainy and crumbly.
2. Don’t cheat on the chilling. Chill overnight for the best possible texture. Since it should be baked super soft, it needs a thorough chilling to not only hold everything together, but to give all of the flavors a chance to marry together. And boy do they marry.
I made this recipe using products from the Simple Truth brand available at Kroger stores (and all stores within the Kroger family; where I live, that’s Fred Meyer.) I really love Simple Truth products and have been using them long before I partnered up for a few videos, so this was really fun for me. You can keep up with Simple Truth on Facebook, and check out the great product line at a Kroger store near you!
Blueberry-Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake Bars
Recipe by Our Best Bites
Crust and Topping Layers
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, very cold
1 large egg, separated
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
15 ounce container ricotta
1/2 cup sugar
3 tablespoons flour
1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
2 eggs, plus one egg white
4 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¾ cup frozen blueberries
Quick Blueberry Sauce
1 ¼ cups frozen blueberries
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon water
3 tablespoons sugar
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×8 baking dish with nonstick spray and set aside.
To prepare crust and topping, combine sugar, flour, salt, and baking powder in a medium sized mixing bowl and stir to combine. Use a large-hole cheese grater to grate butter into flour mixture, or alternately cut butter into small chunks and add to flour mixture. Use clean hands to break up butter and flour mixture until it resembles large crumbs. Add egg yolk from separated egg (reserve egg white for the next step) and add to crumb mixture. Quickly toss to incorporate egg yolk into crumbs. Remove half of crumb mixture (about 1 ½ cups) and lightly press into the bottom of prepared baking dish. Bake for 10 minutes and then remove from oven. Add lemon zest to the remaining crumb mixture, stir to combine, and set aside.
To prepare filling, place ricotta and sugar in a food processor and process until smooth and creamy (about 1-2 minutes), scraping down sides as necessary. Place mixture in a mixing bowl and stir in flour, vanilla, eggs, plus the reserved egg white from the first step, and lemon juice. Whisk to combine and pour mixture over crust in pan. Sprinkle ¾ cup blueberries over the top of filling and then top with the reserved crumb mixture. Bake for 40-50 minutes. Bars should be just golden on top and slightly jiggly in center when shaken. Remove and let cool completely. Cover, and Place in fridge overnight to chill. When ready to serve, slice into bars.
For Sauce: Combine all ingredients. Bring to a simmer and cook for 3-5 minutes, smashing berries with a fork. Cool. Sauce will thicken once cooled and chilled, adjust consistency by adding water until desired consistency is reached.
Sara you are a natural on camera! I am sure one day soon we will see you and Kate on the Food Network! And this cheesecake! Oh my, mouth is watering!
It’s so fun to hear your voice! 🙂 These look delicious!
Love the video! You are adorable! Can’t wait to make these soon.
Thank you!!! I am so eager to try this recipe!!! They look simply delish!!
They look delicious. Love the drizzle dripping down the sides.
Those look sooo yummy! I had the same question as Julie-can we double the recipe and bake in a 9×13? And which parts work well to do ahead of time?
Yes, you could probably do that, although you’d have to eyeball the baking time as I’m not sure how long it would take! And you can make these up until the final bake ahead of time. I’d wait to put the topping on until right before baking as well.
Does your fridge always look so organized? Can you come do mine?
Recipe sounds delicious and I might even be able to convince my husband to try it if it’s not heavy as regular cheesecake.
Haha, no. It was a total Mtv Cribs moment- you know, when they open the fridge and all that’s in there is 87 bottles of perfectly organized water. Lol
Wow! Beautiful recipe and a beautiful girl! Excellent job on both. 🙂
(And I just pruned my lemon tree yesterday so have lots to use up!)
**Meant to say excellent job on the video! 🙂
Wow do these look amazing! I can’t just taste them right now. These are definitely going on my have-to-make-now list. I can’t wait. 🙂
Love the video, it’s a nice touch! I kept expecting you to say something sarcastic the whole time though. 😉
These look yummy, some of my favorite flavors all mixed together. Do you think they would freeze well if I wanted to make them and take them on a campout to keep them cooler longer?
Haha, hey now- don’t ruin my squeaky clean reputation, lol 😉
It’s a good thing I just bought 5 pounds of blueberries. Now I need a few gallons of ricotta…. 🙂
It as so fun to watch you!! We hear your written “voice” all the time.. Great to hear your “real” voice!!!
Well aren’t you a complete natural in front of the camera?! Loved it. I will definitely be making these – they look so yummy and summery. Aaaaand I am STILL coveting that kitchen of yours. So gorgeous.
Hate to be perverse, but do you think this could be made with frozen strawberries?…I have a bunch in the freezer. Thanks!
Looks yummy! You did a great job in the video!
I really enjoyed the video – I’m a visual person and it was really helpful in seeing how quick and easy the recipe comes together. Thanks for sharing, I can’t wait to give this a try!
I’m about to make them, so excited! I noticed that your video talks about cooking the crust for 10 minutes before putting the cheesecake layer on, but I don’t see that anywhere in the actual recipe. Just wanted to double check on that before I started.
Sara, could this be doubled and baked in a 13×9 pan? They look wonderful 🙂
Nice job with the video! Your kitchen is so beautiful! Look forward to trying this recipe out soon.
Love the video! You’re a natural;) Everything looked so beautiful!
Great job on the video!
Awesome job on the video!!!
Love the video! I want to run to the store right now.
Hope the video tells how to make the sauce. Can I assume that fresh blueberries would work?
And to piggyback Caro’s question, what would be the fresh measurement equivalent?
Yes, you could use fresh as well.
Same exact measurement.
Wow, these look so yummy! Those blueberries running down the sides look so good!
Am I missing something? I don’t see a video? Looks amazing though, and I have everything on hand to whip these out today!
I’m not sure how it disappeared over night- but it should be back now!
Don’t see a video link. 🙁
Do you see it now?
Got it! Cute!
Ricotta cheesecake is our favorite, so adding lemon & blueberry sounds divine!!
These sound fabulous!! Lovely recipe!
Looks delicious! I can’t find the video though. Is it just too early in the morning and I’m not thinking clearly enough to see it? Love you guys!
Should be working now, can you see it?
Yes! It’s all there now!