These are blackberry cheesecake bars. But they could just as easily have been blueberry, or raspberry, or peach, strawberry or apricot, or just about any other thing. Because the fruit is supplied by jam or preserves, and those come in just about any flavor you can imagine. I’m thinking right now…jalapeño cheesecake bars, maybe, using jalapeño jelly. Hm…something to think about for next time.
The base is shortbread, and very easy. I make it in the food processor. The important thing to remember is to process it just enough so that the butter moistens all the other ingredients and starts to clump together. This will ensure that the crust will hold together. Bake the crust, then spread the warm crust with the jelly/jam/preserves of your choice, then pour over the cheesecake filling. I make the cheesecake batter in the food processor while the crust is baking, and I don’t even wash it out in between. After the layers are on, just bake the whole thing another 30 minutes or so, until the cheesecake layer is set.
This recipe comes from the sadly-now-defunct magazine Gourmet. Blueberry was the original filling for these.
Blueberry Cheesecake Bars
16 oz cream cheese, softened
2 large eggs
3/4 cup sugar
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup blueberry or other fruit preserves
1 1/2 sticks (3/4 cup) unsalted butter
2 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon salt
For Shortbread Base:
Preheat oven to 350°F.
Cut butter into 1/2-inch pieces. In a food processor process all ingredients until mixture begins to form small lumps. Sprinkle mixture into a 13 x 9 x 2-inch baking pan and with a metal spatula press evenly onto bottom. Bake shortbread in middle of oven until golden, about 20 minutes. While shortbread is baking, prepare topping.
In a bowl [or food processor] whisk cream cheese until smooth and whisk in eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Evenly spread preserves over hot shortbread and pour cream-cheese mixture over it. Bake in middle of oven until slightly puffed, about 30 minutes. Cool completely in pan and cut into 24 bars. Bar cookies keep, covered and chilled, 3 days.