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Cheesecake in a Jar

Cheesecake in a Jar

One of the most delicious and adorable deserts I have ever made. The first time I made this I just found out I was pregnant with Georgette (2011) and it was the holidays. I wanted to make something special that would hold up and obviously be a show stopper to indulge in! Over the years I've made this a dozen time and each time the jars are gone in a day. There is nothing that makes me happier than feeding my babies bellies, hearts and minds.  (downloadable recipe here.)

Here's how to make Cheesecake in a Jar:

- Get 12 1/2 pint jelly jars - wash the jars in the dish washer the night before (if new). 

- Preheat the over 325 degrees

Prep all the ingredients in bowls > (get out a baking dish that has 2 inch walls, muddle, 2 spatulas, 2 mixing bowls, tongs.) 

Cheesecake in a jar

 

To make the Crust: 

2 cups of graham crackers (crushed up > use a bag and muddle to crunch up all the gram cracker)

2 tablespoons of sugar

8 tablespoons of melted butter (a stick of butter)

Mix these all in a bowl until the butter has coated all the crackers and set aside. 

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To make the Cheesecake filling: 

4 - 8oz packs of Cream Cheese (let come to room temperature) 

3/4 cup of Sugar

4 Eggs (let come to room temperature) 

1/2 cup of sour cream

1 whole Vanilla Bean (carefully cut the bean down the side and use a knife to scrape out the beans. If you are using paste it should be about 1/4 a teaspoon) Or a tablespoon of vanilla extract.  

1 teaspoon Zest of Lemon (use a very fine hand grater and zest the lemon right in the bowl at the end)

In your mixing bowl add the cream cheese and sugar, mix well. Add one egg at a time with the mixer on medium. Once the eggs have folded in add the sour cream, vanilla bean and lemon zest. I usually let this mix for 4 minutes on high to get the perfect consistency. 

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Now prepare the jars: Spray each jar with non-stick or rub with butter. Add three teaspoons of the crust mixture to each jar and use the muddle to pound the crust mixture into the jar, making a little crust. 

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Add the Cheesecake filling. To make this painless and clean, add the filling to a plastic gallon freezer bag. Cut a 1 inch hole in the corner and fill each jar up, leaving 1/3 empty. The cheesecake puffs up when it bakes in the jar and you will need room for the sweets on top! 

** If you want to add fruit to your cheesecake, after you make the crust, throw in any fruit you like. If you want to take an extra step and make a compote, throw your fruit, sugar and water into a small pot and cook down, spoon that into the bottom and put your cheesecake filling on top.  ** 

Bake: To bake, take out your baking tray and add the jars (leaving room between them so they can properly and evenly bake) pour hot water in the tray filling the tray up 1/2 the way. Place the tray in the over and bake for 30 minutes! 

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Take the jars out of the oven and place on a cooling rack using tongs. Once they have cooled (about 20 minutes) add your decorative fruit, heavy whipping cream or whatever feeds your soul to the top and close the lid.

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I like to decorate each jar depending on the season or reason I am serving them. Try ribbon, rope, tags or your own creation!

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Where to take: These are perfect for any holiday or party. This was for the Fourth of July 2018. For a baby shower, change the fruit to incorporate blue or pink (or both!), little pumpkin for halloween, gingerbread man for christmas, red hearts for valentines day, little eggs for easter... I could go on :) When traveling with the jars, place them in the original box or in a cute basket. 

The most indispensable ingredient of all good home cooking, is love for those your cooking for.

** Funny story : I had intended on making this Tuesday morning, a day before the 4th. I purchased all the ingredients on Monday (the day before) and placed them on the top shelf of the refrigerator... while shaking my finger at the kids and throwing a stink eye at Ron, These aren't for you! Tuesday comes around, I got Teddy down, he still naps, and got the kids on crafts. As I started prepping for this dish I realize, Ok, there are only 2 blueberries and half the strawberries are missing... one whole thing of cream cheese is gone. In a desperate attempt the get this done, I momentarily hallucinated and consider waking up the baby and taking all four kids to the store. After snapping out of that horrific idea, I download Instacart and used it for the first time (something I had been skeptical of.. I mean, who knows what could go down with my cucumbers pre-delivery). But to my surprise, it was super easy and gave me time to pre-prep a bunch of other stuff. Richard, the man who delivered them was kind and put all my perishables in a freezer bag. One of the things I loved (aside from avoiding a tired toddler X 3 kid meltdown for 2 things of fruit) was how inexpensive it was, I would have no-doubt spend way more on things I most likely didn't need! Thank you, Instacart for keeping my crazy train moving!  Instacart for life. 

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