Concord Grape Cheesecake Bars

concord-grape-cheesecake-bars-3.jpg

 

PREP TIME

30 MINS

COOK TIME

33 MINS

TOTAL TIME

1 HOUR 3 MINS

 

Fresh, sweet and tart concord grapes are made into the perfect fruit puree to top these creamy Concord Grape Cheesecake Bars. 

Serves: 12 squares

INGREDIENTS

Topping

  • 6 oz. stemmed concord grapes

Crust

  • ¾ cup graham cracker crumbs
  • 3 tbsp. salted or unsalted butter, melted

Filling

  • 8 oz. block cream cheese, softened
  • ¾ cup vanilla Greek yogurt
  • 2 large egg whites
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 2 tbsp. all-purpose flour
  • 1 tsp. bottled lemon juice
  • 2 tsp. vanilla extract

INSTRUCTIONS

Topping

  1. Cook the concord grapes in a small saucepan on low-medium heat for 5-8 minutes, stirring and mashing frequently with a spoon. Once your mixture is almost completely mashed and resembles jam, remove from heat.
  2. Using a fine-mesh sieve, strain the mixture into a small bowl, pressing down with a wooden spoon to get the most liquid and pulp as possible. Once you have about 3-4 tbsp., set aside to cool and throw away the skins and seeds.

Crust

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 8x8 square pan with aluminum foil, allowing foil to hang over the sides, and grease lightly with cooking spray.
  2. Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Spread graham mixture evenly on the bottom of the prepared pan. Bake for 8 minutes in preheated oven. Let cool for 5 minutes, then place in refrigerator to continue cooling as you prepare the filling.

Filling

  1. Beat the softened cream cheese in the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with the paddle attachment for 30 seconds to one minute on medium power, or until light and fluffy. Add in the Greek yogurt, egg whites, sugar and flour and beat 1 minute until mixture is completely incorporated and creamy. Add the lemon juice and vanilla and beat again for 30 seconds to combine. Do not overmix.
  2. Pour filling into cooled graham cracker pan and spread evenly.

Assembly and Baking

  1. Using a teaspoon, scoop concord grape mixture and drop onto the top of the filling randomly. Using a toothpick or chopstick, drag through the filling and concord grape mixture to create swirls, cleaning each time you swirl the stick. Bake for 25 minutes, placing aluminum foil over the top if it starts to brown.
  2. Remove from oven and cool for at least 20 minutes, then refrigerate for at least three hours (I left mine overnight).
  3. Once cooled, lift foil and cheesecake out of the pan and cut with a sharp knife. Run knife under warm water after each cut.