Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake with Blueberries

We have been going through a major heat wave here in Victoria. Temperatures have been in the 30 degree celsius range which means that by 3 or 4 PM everyone is just barely hanging on to their patience and you’re doing your best not to have your legs stick to your chair too badly. Cheesecake helps.

Also, if you can get to a lake or the ocean it is absolute bliss. Thankfully, we live on an island so there is (almost) always a breeze that takes the edge off the heat.  In addition, if you haven’t heard, there is also a depressing amount of smoke here that has been blowing over from the wild fires burning on the mainland. It’s an absolutely tragic situation; however, at the same time the smoke is also serving as a buffer to the intensity of the heat. As much as we may appreciate this slight respite from the heat, our thoughts are with those effected by the fires.

Now, let’s move on to something a bit more light-hearted! We were talking about cheesecake earlier, right?! We need to chat about the absolutely divine combination of lemon and blueberry- especially, when you have as many local blueberries available to you as we do here on the west coast. These two flavours complement each other to no end, and make for the perfect dessert when paired with creamy mascarpone and whipped cream.

Our original intent when we made this recipe was for a pie, but once we had doubled the crust recipe (because the crust is obviously one of the best parts!), we quickly realized we were going to have to take some more drastic action and whipped out our 9” springform pan. Then, things got serious.

We whisked together lemon zest, lemon juice, and sweetened condensed milk until a deliciously creamy and tangy mixture was formed.

Then, we whipped heavy cream and icing sugar until it reached billowy peak level, and took things to the next level by adding mascarpone cheese. If you’ve only ever tried mascarpone in classic Italian desserts like tiramisu, you’ve been missing out! It adds a lovely creaminess without the tang of cream cheese, and goes incredibly well with the tartness of lemon.

The filling gets poured into your prepared graham cracker crust, and then guess what? You don’t have to turn on your oven!! You simply put the cake in the fridge for a couple of hours to set and voila! Dessert is served!

Cheesecake on weathered wood.

Go bake.

Lemon Mascarpone Cheesecake with Blueberries

Ingredients:

3 cups (400g- 1 pkg.) graham cracker crumbs

1/4 cup (52 g) granulated sugar

14 tablespoons (196 g) salted butter, melted

3/4 cup sweetened condensed milk

1/4 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

2  tablespoons lemon zest (from 2 large lemons)*

1 1/2 cups heavy whipping cream

1 cup (115 g) icing sugar

340 g (12 oz.) mascarpone cheese

1 pint of blueberries for decorating

Directions:

  1. Start by preheating your oven to 325 degrees F.
  2. Combine the graham cracker crumbs, granulated sugar, and melted butter in a medium bowl and mix until combined.
  3. Press the crumb mixture evenly into the bottom and about 3/4 up the sides of a 9″ spring form pan, then transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes. We did not grease our pan and had no trouble getting the sides off; however, if this is something you’re concerned about a little non-stick spray never hurts! Once finished baking, remove from the oven and allow to cool completely.
  4. Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, combine the sweetened condensed milk, lemon juice, and lemon zest and set aside.
  5. In another large bowl, add the heavy whipping cream and icing sugar. Whip on high speed until very stiff peaks form (about 5-8 minutes depending on what kind of mixer you’re using).
  6. Add the mascarpone cheese to the whipped cream and whip on medium speed until just combined, then continue gently folding together until well combined.
  7. Add about 1/3 of the lemon/sweetened condensed milk mixture to the whipped cream and gently fold, using a spatula or large spoon, to combine. Add the remaining lemon mixutre and gently fold again until it is fully incorporated.
  8. Carefully pour the lemon filling into the cooled pie crust. Smooth out the top and then decorate the top with as many blueberries as you’d like. Cover with plastic wrap and then refrigerate until firm, 4-5 hours (or overnight if you want to play things really safe!).
  9. To serve, gently release the sides of the pan and cut into slices. Enjoy!

*We found that the zest from 2 lemons to be perfect in this cheesecake; however, if you like things really lemony, you might consider using the zest of 3 lemons.

Inspired by this recipe.