Friday, June 24, 2016

No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake in a Jar

It's hard to beat a good cheesecake.  My most favorite cheesecake ever is one that I had when Spencer took me to Las Vegas.  It was a cheesecake from Wolf Gang Puck's restaurant; a cheesecake with crème brule topping and two types of fruit compote.  Oh my gosh, it was perfection on a plate.  Smooth, silky, creamy cheese cake with a light, crispy, sugar topping.  And the fruit compote was absolutely amazing.  I promise I still have dreams about the stuff.

I know I couldn't even come close to replicating the recipe from the infamous Wolf Gang Puck, so I don't even try.  Instead, I come up with different variations, some utilizing the oven and some that are simple no-bake recipes.  I remain successful doing this!

While a classic cheesecake is truly hard to beat, trying to execute them during the summer months isn't something I do unless it's a special request.  You're talking about at least an hour or more of baking time, water baths and such.  Among other things, heating up your house in the dead of summer.  Ummm...no thank you!
During the summer, if I can choose, I opt for the no-bake option.  Minimal heat, no water baths and it's ready in a fraction of the time.

However, there is one thing I will fire up my oven for.  No second thoughts.  Streusel.  And, this graham cracker streusel is life changing.  Almost as much as that cheesecake I had in Vegas.  I could eat this stuff alone, by the handfuls.  It's delish!  Soooo, you may want to make a little extra just to have some to snack on while you're assembling the cheesecakes!  No one else will know ;)! 

Once all the cooked ingredients have cooled assembly is a cinch.  Sprinkle some crumbled graham cracker streusel on the bottom of a jar, followed by cheesecake filling, blueberry sauce and some fresh blueberries, repeat the process and you're done.  Folks, you have a delicious, cool, summery cheesecake in less time than it takes to make a traditional cheesecake! 
I love things in mason jars, it's just a fun presentation.  Plus, it makes it completely transportable and personalized portions.  For a picnic or cookout, simply assemble in a jar, seal with the lid for transportation and put in a pan of ice to keep cool until serving. 

This is a fun and delicious spin on the traditional cheesecake.  I love the two kinds of blueberries, the whole fresh berries and the berry sauce.  It helps to add various layers of flavor and texture.  But I have to say my favorite part of the whole thing is the streusel.  It's crunchy, crispy, salty, caramel-y and buttery.

Say hello to your new favorite dessert for the summer!

No-Bake Blueberry Cheesecake in a Jar
Ingredients:

Graham Cracker Streusel-
1/2 Sleeve graham crackers, about 5 whole crackers
3 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp brown sugar
3 Tbsp old fashioned oats
Pinch salt
6 Tbsp butter, melted

For the blueberry sauce-
3/4 Cup fresh or frozen (thawed) blueberries
1 1/2 Tbsp water
2 Tbsp sugar

For the cheesecake-
1 (8oz) Stick cream cheese (Greek yogurt, reduced fat or regular fat are all fine)
1/4 Cup powdered sugar
1 Cup whipping cream

To assemble-
1 - 1 1/2 Cups blueberries

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350.  Line a baking sheet with foil.  Set aside. 

Using hands, crumble graham crackers over a bowl.  Add both sugars, oats and salt and toss to combine.  Add melted butter and stir to ensure everything is completely coated.  Spread evenly on the prepared baking sheet.  Place in the preheated oven and bake for about 12-15 minutes. 

The mixture will form a solid sheet and be golden brown.  Remove from oven and allow to sit for about 5 minutes.  Gently lift the edges up to ensure the streusel doesn't stick.  Allow to cool completely and then break into pieces. 

For the blueberry sauce-
Place blueberries, water, and sugar in a small saucepan.  Toss to coat.  Place over medium low heat and allow to cook until berries start to burst, about 3-5 minutes.  You want there to be some sauce (blueberry juices) but not super thick.  Remove from heat and allow to cool.

For the cheesecake filling-
Pour the cream in a medium bowl and beat on high until stiff peaks begin to form.  Set aside. 
Place room temperature cream cheese in a bowl and beat on high until smooth.  Add the powdered sugar and beat until combined.  Pour the whipped cream in the cream cheese mixture and gently fold in until incorporated.

To assemble-
Place a few of the crubles in the bottom of 3 to 4 small mason jars.  Add a heaping tablespoon of the cheesecake mixture in each, top with about 3 teaspoons of blueberry sauce, followed by a few blueberries, continue layering once more.  Garnish with a few pieces of crumble and serve.

Recipe source: A Lynsey Original

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