The weather was absolutely gorgeous today in northern Michigan … sunny and low 70’s with just a slight wind. Perfection. Kayaking, biking, soaking up the sun. It was quite the opposite of one of those scorching hot and humid days we are bound to get real soon. Those summer days when it’s almost unbearable if you’re not swimming in a lake or pool or cranking the AC. When it’s unthinkable to turn on the oven to bake a thing, including a proper cheesecake.
So in preparation for the unpredictable Midwest summer days, I am adding dessert recipes that will satisfy your sweet tooth without adding heat to your kitchen. You can thank me later. A traditional cheesecake has eggs and other ingredients added, so baking is necessary. Here I simply added lemon essential oil and a bit of sugar to some softened cream cheese, put that over a graham cracker crust and topped with blueberries. You could top with a few fresh berries or if you’re having a bit of a sugar craving like I was, cook down the berries on the stove with some sugar and thicken with corn starch. I opted for the easy version today, and used canned pie filling with a couple handfuls of fresh berries added in. I know, I know, it’s hardly as healthy, but that can was staring at me from the pantry, and I succumbed. It’s better than eating it straight from the can, which I of course would never do.
Lemon Blueberry Mini-Cheesecakes
- 1 1/4 C graham cracker crumbs
- 1/4 C sugar
- 1/3 C melted butter
- 2 – 8oz blocks of cream cheese, softened
- 3 T sugar
- 6 drops Young Living Lemon essential oil
- optional: 2T lemon juice or milk (I didn’t add this, but you could if you wanted to make the cream cheese less dense.)
- 1 can blueberry pie filling or quart of fresh blueberries (I used some of both- just a handful of fresh berries added to 3/4 can pie filling)
For the crust: in a small bowl stir together crumbs, sugar, & melted butter until combined. Divide crumbs evenly in the 12 cups of a prepared muffin tin. (You could instead use paper cups.) Press firmly. Set aside to chill in refrigerator for ~20 minutes.
For the cream cheese mixture: Beat softened cream cheese, sugar, and lemon EO until whipped & combined. Take muffin tin out of refrigerator and spoon ~2T of cheese mixture onto each mini-crust. Once cheese is evenly distributed among the 12 cups, press mixture down, and spread evenly with a spoon. Add 2T of blueberry topping to each mini-cheesecake. Chill in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. If you didn’t use muffin liners, use a butter knife to go around the edges of each mini-cake, to carefully loosen them from the pan. As beautiful as they already are, if you’re feeling like dressing up your little cakes, garnish with fresh mint leaves.