In my little slice of the world there are few flavors that go together as well as lemon and blueberry. In summer when fresh, sweet blueberries are at their peak I buy them: Not by the pint, but by the pound. I freeze most of them to have on hand for smoothies, biscotti, homemade pancakes, waffles and more.
My stash is beginning to run low now and I’ve been craving something simple, sweet and creamy to go with the blueberries. I decided to make lemon blueberry mock cheesecake parfaits: A quick dessert that took less than half an hour to put together.
You can’t beat that.
The inspiration for these parfaits came from Ree Drummond, The Pioneer Woman. Ree made really cute Cherry Cheesecake Shooters on one of her shows recently, using canned cherry pie filling. Simple yet elegant little desserts that took no time to prepare.
For all the cheesecake purists out there I’ll tell you right from the get-go that as far as cheesecakes go these are not to be confused with the real deal. The name says it all: Mock cheesecake parfaits. They contain no eggs and they’re not baked. They’re made with sweetened condensed milk and cream cheese.
However, that’s actually the beauty of them. You still get a rich and creamy “cheesecake” without all the fuss. And, they’re quick which is always a an added bonus for busy people.
I didn’t want to use a canned cherry pie filling and I wanted to boost the flavor a bit so I added some fresh-squeezed lemon juice and lemon zest to the “cheesecake”, and topped the parfait with a homemade blueberry sauce.
Pre-cooking the blueberries deepened their sweetness and thickened the juices. The lemon juice and zest really brightened the parfait, and the extra sauce is excellent served on the side either at room temperature or warm.
I also coated the graham crackers with melted butter simply because I prefer the moist crumbs.
I’ve done my best here to include the metric measurements for the recipe.
Lemon Blueberry Cheesecake Mini Parfaits
(Adapted from The Pioneer Woman)
For the blueberry sauce:
2 cups (12 oz/1 pint/145 gms) fresh blueberries (frozen are a perfectly fine substitution)
1/3 cup (2.7 oz/75 gms) granulated sugar
1 Tbsp. (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
For the lemon cheesecake:
8 whole graham crackers
4 Tbsp (56 gms) melted butter, cooled slightly
1 (8-oz/227 gms) package cream cheese, softened
1 (14-oz/396 gms) can sweetened condensed milk
2 Tbsp (15 ml) freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 Tbsp (.4 oz/13 gms) minced lemon zest
First make the blueberry sauce:
In a 3-qt saucepan combine blueberries, sugar and lemon juice over medium heat. Cook until the blueberries burst (10-15 minutes).
Continue cooking another 5 minutes until the mixture thickens slightly.
Remove from the heat and allow the sauce to come to room temperature.
In the meantime prepare the lemon cheesecake:
Put the graham crackers in a plastic zipper lock bag and crush with the flat side of a meat tenderizer, or rolling-pin, until you have small chunks and some fine crumbs.
Place the graham crackers in a bowl and mix with the melted butter until the crumbs are coated.
Evenly distribute the graham cracker mix into the bottom of 8 small parfait cups or ice cream cups.
Combine the cream cheese and sweetened condensed milk in the bowl of a stand mixer using the balloon whisk attachment.
Mix on medium speed for a full two minutes until thick and creamy.
Add the lemon juice and lemon zest. Mix for 30 seconds to incorporate.
Fill a piping bag, fitted with a large tip, with the cheesecake and evenly divide into each parfait glass. Alternatively, spoon the mixture into each glass, distributing evenly.
Top each parfait with a small spoonful of blueberry sauce and chill for at least two hours. They will firm up a bit once they’re chilled.
Serve with remaining blueberry sauce on the side, warmed or at room temperature.
Sit back and enjoy complements from family and friends. They’ll think you spent hours in the kitchen on these wonderfully creamy parfaits.