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Monday, August 24, 2015

Recipe: Red, White and Blueberry Cheesecake Jars!

Every single time I make these little beauties, I kick myself for not taking better pictures. Or making more of them! They are absolutely perfect for picnics of all kinds. . .especially patriotic ones.  Plus, they're just plain yummy!





What you'll need:

Supplies:
  • 4 clean Jam Jars with lids
  • medium bowl for cheese filling
  • medium bowl for blending crust
  • small bowl for blending red fruits
  • small bowl for melting butter
  • small bowl for mixing cornstarch
  • microwave
  • cutting board
  • knife
  • heavy small saucepan
  • spoons for stirring and filling jars
  • solid wooden rolling pin if you have one (not the kind with handles that rolls. . .the solid stick kind) 
  • Hand blender
  • Hand Mixer

Ingredients:

Crust:
  • 4 squares of graham crackers (or two rectangles)
  • 2 Tablespoons of butter
  • 1 Tablespoon of sugar 

Cheesecake filling:
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (full fat. . .this is a dessert, after all!)
  • 2 Tablespoons cream
  • 1 Teaspoon vanilla
  • 2-4 Tablespoons sugar (to taste!)

Fruit filling:
  • 1 Cup fresh or frozen blueberries (or blackberries/huckleberries, etc.)
  • 1 Cup fresh or frozen red berries (strawberries or raspberries, etc.)
  • 2-4 Tablespoons of sugar (to taste!)
  • 1 Tablespoon cornstarch
  • A little water

Method:
  • Crush graham crackers into fine crumbs
  • Mix with sugar
  • Melt butter in microwave
  • Pour butter over crumbs and mix well
  • Place 1/4 of mixture into each jar
  • Using the end of your solid wooden rolling pin (or a spoon), tamp crumbs solidly down at the bottom of the jar
  • Set aside
  • In medium bowl, blend cream cheese, cream, sugar, and vanilla using the hand blender or a wooden spoon
  • Set aside
  • In small, heave saucepan, place most of blueberries (reserve a heaped tablespoon)
  • Add a little water and sugar
  • Cook over a low simmer, stirring occasionally
  • When sugar is dissolved and most of the blueberries are burst, remove from heat
  • Mix cornstarch and a little water into a runny paste
  • Stir HALF of the mixture into the blueberries
  • Return to heat
  • Stir frequently and, when the mixture starts to bubble again, check thickness and sweetness
  • Add more sugar if needed and more cornstarch if too runny
  • The mixture should be the consistency of thick syrup or runny jam. It should NOT be watery!
  • When satisfied, remove from heat and add remaining fresh berries
  • Set aside to cool
  • Divide red berries in half
  • Use hand blender to liquefy one half
  • Slice berries into small, bite size pieces if using strawberries and add to liquefied berries
  • Add berries whole if using raspberries, etc.
  • Add sugar to taste (berries vary so much in sweetness, so use your own preferences on this point)
  • Set aside


  • Using a spoon, careful spoon 1/8th of the cream cheese mixture into each jar, being as careful as you can not to get it on the sides
  • Smooth the bottom layer as best you can
  • With a new spoon, place 1/4th of the blueberry mixture into the jar, again trying not to get any on the sides
  • Smooth that layer, too
  • Place another layer of the cream cheese (1/8th of the mixture again!) carefully on top of the blueberries
  • Top each layer with 1/4th of the red berry mixture
  • Smooth down and replace lid
  • Chill until needed in fridge or an ice chest
  • YUM!








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