As spring approaches, it is fun to visit the local farmer’s market and grab some lovely fresh produce, mainly seasonal fruits that is available in bounty. Plums are still running strong in California, and if you are looking for a unique way to use these fruits, these decadent cheesecake bars are meant just for you! Also, as Valentine’s Day is right around the corner, I am sure you would be fishing for some romantic dinner ideas. These beautiful Plum Cheesecake Bars, contributed by Patricia from The Technicolor Kitchen are just perfect for the occasion. With their cheesecake-like texture and ruby red color on the top, they will leave a lasting impression on your Valentine’s palate!
These bars are very versatile – you can replace plums with any seasonal fruits, strawberries, raspberries, even tangerines would be great! Cream cheese lends a smooth texture to the recipe, and individual bars are perfect to serve as sweet treats to friends and family.
Plum Cheesecake Bars
Makes approximately 10 individual servings
200g (about 1 cup packed) cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla extract
3 tbsp caster (superfine) sugar
1 cup unsalted butter, softened
1 cup light brown sugar, packed
1 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
generous pinch of salt
1 tsp vanilla extract
2 cups ripe plums, halved, stoned and roughly chopped
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F. Butter a 9 or 10-inch shallow baking pan, line with baking parchment, making sure that the paper comes higher than the rim of the pan, and butter the paper as well.
In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until soft and creamy. Add the vanilla extract and caster sugar and beat until smooth. Set aside.
Place the eggs, butter, brown sugar, flour, baking powder, salt and vanilla in a separate bowl. Beat for about 2 minutes until pale and creamy.
Spread half of the cake batter mixture onto the base of the prepared pan, then dump half of the cream cheese mixture over it, spreading an uneven swirl through the base mixture. Scatter with half of the plums. Spoon the remaining cake batter on top and dot with the rest of the cream cheese.
Scatter with the remaining plums then bake for about 45 minutes until risen and just firm to touch – when cooked, the surface of this tray bake should feel just firm to the touch, but bear in mind that it will firm-up slightly as it cools; if over baked, it will lose its moist texture.
Leave to cool in the pan before cutting into pieces. Serve warm or cold, and enjoy. it goes well with ice cream as a dessert.
I love this recipe, especially because it carries half the calories of a regular cheesecake, yet has an equivalent moist texture and taste, and the ripple effect on the top turns it into a very inviting dessert indeed! hope you like it as much as I did.