Strawberry Basil Cheesecake Bars
photo by Meghan O
- Ready In:
- 1hr 30mins
1 9x13 pan
- 10 ounces strawberries, washed, de-stemmed, and roughly chopped (about 2 cups)
- 3 tablespoons water, divided
- 1 1⁄4 cups sugar, divided (1/4 for sauce, 1/2 for crust, 1/2 for filling)
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon lemon zest (about 1/2 a lemon)
- 1 tablespoon cornstarch
- basil (10-15 leaves)
- 14 tablespoons butter (1 and 3/4 sticks)
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1 3⁄4 - 2 cups flour
- 1.5 (8 ounce) packages cream cheese or (8 ounce) packages neufchatel cheese
- 2 eggs, room temperature
- 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 1⁄2 cup sour cream
For Strawberry Basil Sauce:
- Place strawberries, 2 T water, 1/4 cup sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest (if using), and a pinch of salt into a sauce pot and bring to boil over medium-low heat.
- Whisk 2T water with 1T cornstarch and add to strawberry mixture.
- Add basil leaves to strawberry mixture.
- Use an immersion blender or transfer to blender and blend until smooth. Return to sauce pot.
- Adjust basil, lemon, and sugar amounts to desired levels.
- Reduce heat and let simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced to about 1 cup of thick sauce (a little thinner than the consistency of honey).
- Let sauce cool.
- Cream the butter and 1/2 cup sugar.
- Add the salt and 1 3/4 cup flour to sugar mixture and combine until the dough is well mixed. Add remaining 1/4 cup flour as needed to form dough.
- With floured hands, dump dough into a greased 9x13 pan and press to form crust.
- Let the dough chill for 15-20 minutes (about the time it takes for the oven to preheat).
- Bake crust at 350 until barely brown (10-12 min), let cool on a wire rack for about 15 minutes.
For Cheese Filling:
- Beat cream cheese and 1/2 cup sugar until smooth.
- Blend in eggs, sour cream, vanilla extract, and a pinch of salt.
- Pour cream cheese mixture over crust.
- Drop spoonfuls of strawberry sauce onto the top and use a knife to cut through the cheese layer to create a swirl appearance.
- Bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes until the outer edges are set, but the middle is still slightly jiggles.
- Let cool on the counter before transferring to the refrigerator.
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