Dining With the Doc: Lemon Blackberry Cheesecake Bars
My husband Pete had been asking me for weeks to make a tasty treat for him to take into work, so the other night before his night shift, I decided to make a batch of my lemon blackberry bars. I love these cheescake bars because they're delicious and look like you labored all day in the kitchen making them when they're actually quite simple to prepare. For the crust I use ready-made sugar cookie dough- you can't get more convenient than that. And to add some lemony tang to the cream cheese filling, I use jarred lemon curd. Lemon curd is similar to a custard and has a soft, creamy texture and a sweet yet tart flavor. It's wonderful spread on freshly baked muffins or scones. It can also be used to fill tarts and pies, or folded into whipped cream to make a delicious lemon cream. You can make homemade lemon curd by whisking eggs, sugar, lemon juice, lemon zest, and butter in a saucepan or double boiler, or you can buy it at most specialty food stores such as Whole Foods. Pete told me that the cheesecake bars were a hit at work and his coworkers devoured them. Hopefully you'll get similar results if you try this recipe!
Makes 24 servings
1 roll (16.5 oz) Pillsbury Refrigerated Sugar Cookie Dough
¾ cup blackberry jam
12 ounces fresh blackberries
20 ounces cream cheese (2 1/2 packages)
½ cup sugar
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
¼ cup heavy cream
½ teaspoon vanilla extract
2 large eggs
1 cup jarred lemon curd
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
In an ungreased 13x9-inch baking tray, break up the cookie dough. Using floured hands, press the dough evenly into the bottom of the pan to form a crust. Bake 10-12 minutes until light golden brown. Remove from oven and cool 10 minutes.
Spread the jam evenly over the surface of the partially cooled crust. Set aside 24 blackberries for garnish. Cut the remaining berries in half and sprinkle the halves evenly over the jam.
In a large bowl, beat the cream cheese and sugar together with a hand mixer until fluffy. Add the flour, heavy cream and vanilla extract and mix. Beat in the eggs one at a time until blended. Pour the filling into the tray over the blackberries. Pour the lemon curd over the filling in 4 long lines. Using a knife, swirl the lemon curd into the cheesecake mixture being careful not to cut into the crust.
Bake in oven 40-45 minutes until filling is set. Cool 30 minutes. Cut into 4x6 rows. Garnish each piece with a blackberry. Devour!