MacPherson Blueberry Squares

These MacPherson Blueberry Squares taste just like a bowl of blueberries and cream but with a crunchy graham cracker layering. These squares make serving guests a breeze as they are portable, no fuss, and delicious. They are the perfect no-bake dessert on a hot day!

Today’s recipe was given to my Mom years ago from family members out on the East Coast. After my Grandma passed away my Mom and Auntie headed to Antigonish to visit with family and see the original home my Grandma grew up in with her 16 siblings. The yard, like many places back east, is surrounded by wild blueberries so it’s not surprising that this recipe would include blueberries.

It’s as delicious as it is simple and it has made its way into my regular rotation of baking. Anytime I make it my kids inhale it, but then again, so do I. It holds a special spot for all of us as family recipes are a prized possession. It’s a way to feel connected to those we’ve lost or can’t be with. 

HOW TO MAKE BLUEBERRY SQUARES

Start by placing the graham cracker crumbs and sugar in a bowl, then whisk to combine.

Next, add the melted butter into the graham crumbs and stir until it’s all well mixed together.

Now remove one cup of the butter and graham crumb mixture and set aside in a bowl to sprinkle on to at the end.

Pour the remaining crumb mixture into an ungreased, unprepared 9×13 pan. Use your hands to press the crumb mixture into an even layer in the bottom of the pan and set aside.

HOW TO MAKE THE FILLING

This recipe originally used cool whip but my kids don’t like it so I have switched it out for stabilized whip cream. Stabilized whip cream can be used to replace cool whip in most recipes in a one to one ratio. Once you have your cream, set it aside. 

In a medium bowl add the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla then mix on medium-high using an electric hand mixer until well incorporated.

Add the cream cheese mixture into the bowl of stabilized whipped cream, and using a spatula to stir, gently fold the cream cheese into the whipped cream.

Now all that is left is to add the washed fresh blueberries into the cream mixture, again stirring gently to keep the blueberries intact, until evenly distributed throughout the cream.

Use a spatula to gently pour the blueberries and cream mixture into the prepared graham cracker crust.

Use the spatula to evenly spread the whipped cream layer over the crust.

Finally, take the reserved cup of graham crumbs and sprinkle all over the top of the whipped cream layer.

Place in the fridge for a few hours to chill and set up. Then slice and serve. You will be amazed at how very quickly it disappears.

CAN I SUBSTITUTE OTHER FRUIT?

This recipe is easy and so delicious as is, but yes you can definitely switch out the blueberries for other fruits, like raspberries, cherries, or blackberries. Just be careful with fruits that have a lot of moisture as it may affect the final set up.

HOW TO STABILIZE WHIPPED CREAM

There are a few ways to stabilize whip cream, the way I prefer, is with icing sugar. For every cup of heavy cream just add 3 tablespoons of icing sugar once you have whipped into stiff peaks.

Make the stabilized whipped cream by adding the heavy cream to the bowl of a stand mixer with the whisk attachment. Whisk in medium-high until soft peaks form, then add the icing sugar one tablespoon at a time, finally finish whipping until stiff peaks form.

HOW TO STORE NO-BAKE SQUARES

Leftovers will stay good stored in the fridge for about 4 days, but we’ve never managed to have it last that long. 

Ingredients:

Base:

  • 3 cups graham cracker crumbs
  • 3/4 cup melted butter
  • 3 tsp. granulated sugar

Filling:

  • 1 pkg cream cheese ( 250 grams) 
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 2 1/4 cups heavy cream
  • 6 tbsp. icing sugar
  • 3 cups washed and stemmed fresh blueberries

Preparation:

  1. In a small bowl add the graham cracker crumbs and sugar  then whisk to combine.
  2. Add the melted butter and stir again and fully mixed together.
  3. Reserve 1 cup of the graham crumb mixture and set aside. Pour the rest into the bottom of a 9×13 pan and then use your hands to press into an even layer. Set aside and make the filling.
  4. Start by putting the heavy cream into the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the whisk attachment. Whisk on medium-high until soft peaks form.
  5. Continue whisking on medium-low adding the icing sugar one tablespoon at a time.
  6. Return the mixer to medium-high speed and whip until stiff peaks form. 
  7. In another bowl add the cream cheese, sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla then whisk on high using an electric hand mixer until fully combined.
  8. Add the cream cheese mixture into the bowl with the stabilized whip cream, use a spatula to fold the two together until completely incorporated.
  9. Add the 3 cups prepared blueberries to the cream mixture and gently fold them in until evenly distributed.
  10. Pour the blueberry cream mixture over the prepared graham cracker base and use a spatula to make a nice even layer.
  11. Take the reserved cup of graham cracker crumbs and sprinkle over the top of the whipped cream layer.
  12. Place in the fridge for a few hours, about 3-4, then slice up and serve.

 

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