Braised Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar

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BC cherries are in! Which means a) summer is here, and b) we must celebrate this fact by eating as many cherries as possible. I know food in jars is so three years ago – unless you’re my sister, who came up with the brilliant idea one September that she could tackle two surpluses at once, and send the kids to school with lunch in a jar, tucked into a spare sock. (Don’t worry, she didn’t actually.)

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I find a myriad of uses for those small half cup jars – I shake up dressings and dips in them, and melt butter to chill and clarify, and make crème brûlée (OK, I’ve only done this once) and little cheesecakes in jars, which can be sealed and tossed into your picnic basket or work bag. Cherries braised with sugar and their own juiciness is classic, but inspiration will present itself all summer – stewed rhubarb, strawberries, blueberries, peaches, saskatoons. It’s all good. And there’s no need to turn on the oven!

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In the past, I’ve made the crusts for jar-cheesecakes by mixing melted butter and graham crumbs, as you would to press into a pie plate, but I’ve since realized that since this type of cheesecake is all about ease, you can get away with bashing up some graham crackers or Digestive cookies (or shortbread, or gingersnaps) in a zip-lock bag with a rolling pin, and pour a bit of the crumbs, as fine or coarse as you like, into each jar. So easy. Which should be the case as we slide on into summer.

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Braised Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar


June 13, 2016



3 graham crackers or Digestive biscuits, bashed up

Cheesecake filling:

1 8 oz (250 g) pkg. cream cheese, at room temperature

1/4 cup sugar

1/2 cup heavy (whipping) cream

1/4 tsp. vanilla


2 cups fresh or frozen cherries, pitted (or chopped peaches or rhubarb, strawberries, raspberries…)

1/4 cup sugar

1/4 cup water

1 tsp. cornstarch


1Bash the cookies in a ziplock bag and divide the coarse crumbs between the bottoms of 6 small (125 mL) ring-top jars.

2In a medium bowl, beat the cream cheese, sugar, cream and vanilla until smooth. Divide between the jars, spooning it over the crumbs.

3To make the topping, bring your cherries, sugar and water to a simmer in a medium saucepan. Cook for 10-15 minutes, until the cherries are soft, squishing some of them against the side of the pan with your spoon. Stir the cornstarch into 1 tsp. cold water and add it to the cherries; simmer for a minute or two. Remove from the heat and set aside to cool, then refrigerate until chilled.

4Spoon the cherries over the cheesecakes. Screw on the lids and refrigerate until you’re ready to serve them. Makes 6 cheesecake jars.


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7 comments on “Braised Cherry Cheesecake in a Jar

  1. Carol S-B
    June 13, 2016 at 5:05 pm

    Love these, and I’m glad they’re not just three years ago. Great for a picnic, and so versatile.
    My half-cup jars have suffered some attrition: time to pick up a box again.
    A variation that’s even more streamlined: a can of sweetened condensed milk beaten with cream cheese for the creamy layer.
    We used the thick, jammy rhubarb left after straining for juice (of course, you remember the Foxy Ladies Gwen posted). So good. But cherries? Get outta my way!

  2. jake
    June 14, 2016 at 8:29 am

    great pic! food in jars! summer fruit! I could go for one of those right now – I guess it would be a desk picnic.

    Momofuku Milk Bar’s liquid cheesecake recipe and graham crumbs are great for this.


    • Julie
      June 15, 2016 at 9:13 am

      Ooh, I haven’t had the liquid cheesecake at Momofuku! Will have to try it next time!

  3. Emma
    August 21, 2017 at 11:18 pm

    Delicious! You are my go to… which means martha has moved back to second!

    • Julie
      August 22, 2017 at 2:48 pm

      Yes! Take that Martha!

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