Wildberry Cheesecake Crumb Bars

June is my favourite month.

It’s the month of fresh strawberries. It’s when school lets out (I’m 27 and I still remember how good that feels). Ice cream cravings start. And the best part? There are still two more delicious months of summer to look forward to.

In June, all I want to do is bake with berries.

June is when strawberries make their appearance for the season. As well as cherries. Blueberries and raspberries are more common in July and August.

This is the best season for working fresh, locally-sourced berries into your baking.

Of course, not everyone has the time to scour the market for fresh berries and, let’s get real, they can be a bit pricy. That’s why I made this batch with a bag of Welch’s Frozen Berries I picked up on sale.

They most definitely did the trick. The berries you use are totally up to you. They would be so delicious with a bright layer of strawberry, raspberry jam!

These Wildberry Cheesecake Crumb Bars are layer upon layer of gorgeous, summery goodness.

They combine juicy mixed berries (that don’t have to be fresh!), creamy cheesecake and a crisp, crumbly layer on the top and bottom to sandwich the whole thing together.

It may look like a lot of work, but this is very much a “set it and forget it” recipe. The berry jam doesn’t require a lot of watching on the stovetop and you don’t need to use a food processor to make the dough. If you have a pastry cutter – that’s good enough!

This is a big batch recipe. We’re talking generous, dessert-sized slices to enjoy.

Can’t you just see them arranged on the picnic table at your next cookout? This is the stuff of my summer daydreams.

Wishing you all the most spectacular June. Savour it. Summer ends much too fast.

Have a great weekend!

xx

Wildberry Cheesecake Crumb Bars
Serves 24 large pieces 

Wildberry filling 
1 bag of frozen berry blend (600 grams or about 4 cups)
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup water
2 tbsp corn starch
2 tbsp lemon juice

Cheesecake filling
12 oz room temperature cream cheese (I used light)
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 tbsp lemon juice

Crumb layer 
3/4 cup white sugar
1 tsp baking powder
3 cups white flour
1 tsp salt
1 cup cold butter, cubed
1 egg

Directions

  1. In a medium-sized pot, combine your berries, sugar, water, corn starch and lemon juice. Turn the burner to low, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick. Crush down larger berry pieces with a fork. Set aside to cool as you prepare the rest.
  2. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13 baking pan with parchment paper or grease well. In a large bowl, combine your dry ingredients for the crumb layer. Cut in butter and egg using a pastry cutter or a food processor if you prefer. Press 2/3 of the mixture into the bottom of your pan. Bake for 10 minutes and set aside.
  3. Prepare your cheesecake layer by combining all of the ingredients until creamy. They will be somewhat liquidy.
  4. Pour the cheesecake layer over the crumb base. Top that with the berry layer. Sprinkle remaining crumb topping over the top evenly. Place in the oven and bake for roughly an hour. Check it at 50 minutes to ensure you don’t overcook. The topping with be golden and the squares should jiggle slightly, but not enough that they seem like they will slide out of the pan.
  5. Set aside to cool completely. I cooled mine overnight before cutting. Store in the fridge and enjoy!

 

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