These sweet, three-bite cheesecakes are the perfect treat to serve at a special brunch or on a holiday dessert table. Bright with lemon and a hefty drizzle of fresh blueberry compote, they are just as beautiful as they are delicious.
FOR THE CRUST 1/4 cup granulated sugar 2 cups finely crushed graham cracker crumbs (about 8 ounces) 6 tablespoons butter, melted 3/4 teaspoon sea salt 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
FOR THE COMPOTE 1/4 cup water 1/4 cup sugar 1 cup fresh California blueberries 2 tablespoons lemon juice 1 teaspoon lemon zest 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
FOR THE FILLING 2 (8-oz.) packages of cream cheese, softened 1/4 cup sour cream 2/3 cup granulated sugar 2-3 tablespoons limoncello, optional 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1/4 teaspoon sea salt Additional blueberries and fresh mint for garnish
Ingredients: Make the graham cracker crust. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Lightly grease a 12-cup muffin tin and set aside. Place the graham crackers in a large bowl. Stir in the melted butter, sea salt, and ground cinnamon until the mixture is evenly moistened and divide the mixture evenly into the muffin cups pressing up the sides with the back of a spoon.
Bake for about 15 minutes or until set (it will look buttery). Press the crust firmly into the bottom and sides of the cup using a spoon. Cool completely, at least 30 minutes. Then gently lift from the cups.
While the crusts are baking, make the compote. Stir together water, sugar, blueberries, lemon zest, and juice in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer over medium. Cook, stirring occasionally and mashing the blueberries with the back of a spoon, until mixture is slightly thickened, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Using a fork, mash the blueberries until the mixture is almost smooth. Stir in the vanilla extract. Cool completely, about 30 minutes. (If needed, stir in up to 1 tablespoon of water, 1/2 teaspoon at a time, until the mixture has consistency of loose jam).
Make the filling. Combine cream cheese, sour cream, vanilla, 2/3 cup granulated sugar, limoncello, and 1/3 teaspoon salt in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a paddle attachment. Beat on medium-high speed until light and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer cheesecake mixture to a piping bag fitted with a large (3/4-inch) open star tip).
Pipe the cheesecake mixture decoratively into the cooled tart crusts (Alternatively, cheesecake filling can be simply spooned into the cooled crusts).
Drizzle over the compote and top with additional fresh blueberries. Garnish with fresh mint. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to one day.