Back and Inspired – Blueberry-Lime Cream Bars

Back and Inspired – Blueberry-Lime Cream Bars

I have abandoned you for a few weeks without any sweet offerings, but it was all for a good reason. The experiences I had in Chile during my fitness retreat will most certainly inspire future recipes.

Besides the rigorous workout (yoga, martial arts, and dance), we had several excursions to explore the vast landscape of the northern Chile. Even though I’m back for a few days, I can still feel the glorious warmth and remember the scent of the Atacama desert—what the indigenous people of the Andes call Pachamama (mother earth/goddess).

To some of my friends, my workout schedule seems a bit much. I won’t lie, I do spend hours taking classes. Each day, I look forward to attending different ones, to hang out with my friends, and to learn from the instructors that I admire. Their strength and commitment inspire me to be better and stronger.

There are days I have my druthers and eat a bowl of ramen and/or indulge in desserts—instead of doing a down dog. The truth is my workout is much like baking: I truly enjoy the process and look forward to the therapeutic effects. These workouts also allow me to have a balance lifestyle, one where I have no guilt about eating what I crave.

After the retreat, the best thing to do was to get right back into my regular routine of workouts and baking. I jump started the process with these easy creamy Blueberry-Lime Cream Bars. They evoke the feeling of Spring and the quick approach of Easter. These bars have the allure of seasonal pastels and are perfect for that special brunch or dinner.

Blueberry-Lime Cream Bars

Ingredients:

Shortbread base
  • 1-3/4 cups (8-3/4 ounces) unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup (1-3/4 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup (2 ounces) packed light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup (3/4 ounces) sliced almond
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons (6 ounces/1-1/2 sticks) unsalted butter, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
Blueberry Lime Filling
  • 24 ounces (three 8-oz package) cream cheese, softened
  • 3 large eggs, room temperature
  • 3 lime, zested and juiced (1/2 cup)
  • 1 cup (7 ounces) granulated sugar
  • 1 pound fresh blueberries
Blueberry Mousse
  • 3 silver gelatin sheets
  • 1 tablespoon freeze dried blueberry powder
  • 1 cup whole milk
  • 8 ounces white chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2/3 cup heavy cream

Directions:

Shortbread base

1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 350℉. Line a 13 by 9-inch baking pan w parchment paper with excess to overhang pan edges. . Combine flour, sugars, almonds, and salt in food processor, pulse mixture until almonds are crossly chopped. Add butter and continue to pulse until mixture resembles coarse meal. Press mixture evenly and firmly into prepared pan. Bake until light golden brown, about 15-20 minutes. Cool completely.

Blueberry Lime Filling

1. Combine cream cheese, eggs, lime zest, lime juice and sugar in food processor and mix until mixture is smooth and well combined. Add blueberries on top of cooled base and pour on top. Tap baking pan on counter several time to release air bubbles. Bake until slightly puffed and the center slightly jiggles. Remove from the oven and cool completely before refrigerating for at least 4 hours.

Blueberry Mousse

1. Soak gelatin in ice water until softened, 10 minutes. remove from water, squeeze out excess water and set aside.

2. In a small saucepan, bring milk and blueberry powder to boil. Add gelatin and stir until fully dissolved. Add white chocolate, whisk until smooth, let cool to room temperature.

3. Whisk heavy cream to soft peak and gently fold into white chocolate mixture with a spatula. Pour mousse on top of filling and refrigerate until set, about 30 minutes. Dust with freeze dried blueberry powder and decorate with lime zest (optional). Cut into squares and serve.