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Lately I’ve noticed a problem here on this little old food blog, so let it be known- Today is the Day of Rectification.
The problem, you ask? Cheesecake. Of which there is none, nada, zilch on this website.
I don’t know what my issue is, sometimes. I just don’t know at all.
See, I’ve been slowly going through my old posts, doing a bit of housekeeping. I’m updating all my recipes to ZipList, which makes it about ninety billion times easier to print and save recipes than the old Google docs I was using (you can even upload recipe ingredients to a shopping list on the ZipList app! Check it out here) I’m also moving all my images off of my hosting server and onto my Flickr account. This is because I kept getting (ahem) “friendly” reminders that my space was maxed out, and that my images take up approximately 9,0000% of said space.
But as I trawled through the endless recipes and broken links and sad, washed-out little photos I used to think were awesome, I came to the realization that there are no cheesecake recipes on this entire dang site. None! This is cheesecake we’re talking about, which, if asked, I usually say is my all-time favorite dessert.
See? I need to rectify the situation immediately.
There is an ancient Cooks Illustrated Recipe that I use as my go-to recipe for cheesecake, and I’ve added and discarded and generally bastardized it to the point of unrecognizablity- but in the end it is a foolproof cheesecake recipe. There’s no balancing a pan of shaky batter in a larger pan of trembling hot water to bake, no making custard and crossing your fingers that the eggs don’t scramble- this is a add-what-you-want-to-the-batter, throw-it-all-in-the-pan, bake-and-enjoy kind of cheesecake recipe. In other words, my kind of recipe.
I added one cup of diced cherries to the mix and then swirled in blamsaic glaze because, well, delicious, and also- lest we forget!- it’s Cherry Week in these parts, and why the hell not, you know? The balsamic glaze is a delicious, sweet kick at the start, and since the cherries are fresh when added to the batter, they retain a crispness that is fan-freakin’-tastic against the creamy tang of the cheesecake itself.
Add your standard graham cracker crust, and this is the perfect little dish to bring to a barbecue, or eat entirely in one sitting on the couch in front of Friends reruns, or whatever. Go crazy. Summer is almost over and you deserve a cheesecake bar.
Cherry Balsamic Cheesecake Bars Recipe
For the crust:
- one pre-made graham-cracker crust (shh, I won’t tell) OR
- 7-8 graham crackers, broken into 1″ pieces
- 6 tablespoons butter, melted
- 3 tablespoons brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon flour
- pinch of salt
For the batter:
- 16 oz cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 2/3 cup white sugar
- 2 eggs
- 3 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1 cup roughly diced fresh cherries
For the balsamic glaze:
- 1/2 cup cup
- Firstly preheat the oven to 325*F. Line the bottom of a 9 square baking pan with foil. Grease the foil with butter or coconut oil which do you prefer.
For the crust:
- Mix all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse them until they look sandy. Press the mixture into the bottom of the foil-lined pan then use a glass’s bottom to make sure it lies evenly.
For the batter:
- Use a hand mixer to whip the cream cheese until it become smooth. Then add the sugar and blend it. After that add the eggs one at a time, be careful about mixing well each egg. Add the lemon juice, vanilla and cherries and blend them together with a wooden spoon or spatula until they completely mixed.
- Pour the batter onto the crust and bake it at 325*F for 35-40 minutes until sides are set and the center is still jiggling.
- While the cheesecake cooking, heat the balsamic vinegar in a small pan over-medium-high heat. Watch carefully, allow it to simmer until it has reduced by half. It will coat back of the spoon when it is ready. Pour it into a small case and put on one side.
- When the cheesecake is out of the oven, dip a spoon into the balsamic glaze and carefully drizzle it back and forth onto the cake. Let the cake sit for at least 15 minutes so the glaze has time to set.
- When the cake is cool, remove it carefully from the pan using the foil ends to pick the cake up out of the pan. Slice and enjoy your cheesecake.