Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Parfait

That’s a mouthful isn’t it? And I had several. That serving glass used to be my wine glass. There is a reason that I no longer use that glass – it holds way to much of a good thing. I mean, it is a very healthy indulgence; it has blueberries, which are high in antioxidants and other healthy stuff, and it has, um…um…eggs and um…some lemon and some orange. See, healthy! Never mind about the butter, sugar, cream, cheese, and deliciousness. This is a dessert for crying out loud!

Oh yeah, it also has cookies. But they’re just for texture!

I get these afternoon cravings for Oreos. I don’t know what it is, but it usually is Reese cups, but now, Oreos. These cookies, just a few, put that craving to rest. With the shortbread texture and that hint of orange, I can go on like a five year old with a cup of red Kool-Aid.

Usually the wife is the baker, but this was a team effort. I will admit, there are some steps to this recipe that take some time, but it is well worth it.

Click to enlarge

Recipe after the jump…

Lemon-Blueberry Cheesecake Parfait
Recipe by Maggie Leung
Adapted from Food and Wine Magazine


– Shortbread
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons cornmeal
1 teaspoon salt
2 sticks unsalted butter, at room temperature (I used Plugra)
3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
2 teaspoons finely grated orange zest
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

– Blueberry Compote
2 cups blueberries (12 ounces)
1/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup water
1 teaspoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

– Cheesecake Custard
1 cup whole milk
5 tablespoons granulated sugar
4 large egg yolks
2 1/2 tablespoons cornstarch
6 ounces cream cheese, at room temperature
1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest, plus extra strips for garnish
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup heavy cream


1. In a medium bowl, mix the flour with the cornmeal and salt. In a standing mixer fitted with the paddle, mix the butter with the confectioners’ sugar at medium speed until creamy, about 2 minutes. Beat in the orange zest and vanilla extract. Add the flour mixture and beat at low speed until the dough just comes together. Pat the shortbread dough into a disk, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 1 hour.

2. Preheat the oven to 350°. Line 2 large rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper. Unwrap the chilled shortbread dough and roll it out between 2 sheets of parchment paper to an 8-inch round (1/2 inch thick). Cut the dough into 1/2-inch-wide strips and transfer the strips to the baking sheets; leave 1 inch between each strip. Refrigerate the dough strips for 30 minutes, until chilled.

3. Bake the shortbread for about 20 minutes, until golden; rotate the pans halfway through for even baking. While the warm shortbread strips are still on the baking sheet, cut them into 1/2-inch cubes. Let cool, about 30 minutes.

4. In a small saucepan, combine 1 cup of the blueberries with the sugar and water. Bring to a simmer and cook over moderate heat until the blueberries break down, about 5 minutes. Scrape the blueberry sauce into a blender, add the lemon juice and puree until smooth. Scrape the blueberry sauce into a bowl and fold in the remaining 1 cup of whole blueberries. Refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

5. In a medium saucepan, bring 3/4 cup of the milk to a boil with 3 tablespoons of the sugar; remove from the heat. In a medium bowl, whisk the egg yolks with the cornstarch and the remaining 1/4 cup of milk and 2 tablespoons of sugar. Gradually whisk the hot milk into the egg yolks, then pour the mixture into the saucepan and whisk constantly over moderate heat until thickened, about 2 minutes. Over low heat, whisk in the cream cheese, lemon juice, grated lemon zest and vanilla extract until smooth, about 1 minute. Scrape the cheesecake custard into a bowl. Press a piece of plastic wrap directly onto the surface of the custard and refrigerate until chilled, about 2 hours.

6. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream to medium peaks. Fold the whipped cream into the chilled cheesecake custard until no streaks remain. Spoon the shortbread cubes and custard into bowls. Drizzle with the blueberry compote, garnish with the lemon zest strips and serve