Strawberry-Rhubarb Cheesecake in a Jar

This post could have been mighty impressive and star-studded, photo-wise – instead, I’m offering up some yumminess and asking that you use your imagination. Ready?

So this weekend, if you haven’t already heard, I made lunch for Darth Vader. I did!

For reals. Also – Sir Patrick Stewart (Captain Jean-Luc Picard) and the entire cast of Star Trek-Next Generation, and on Sunday – Adam West! And his wife, both of whom were lovely.

Yes, I did in fact make lunch for Darth Vader AND Batman in one weekend, and yet my six year old boy is not sufficiently impressed with the fact that this is what his mom does when she goes to work. At least (very) occasionally – I should stress that this is not the norm.

(Although in past years I have cooked for Leonard Nimoy and William Shatner – some cook for kings, queens and presidents; I cook for captains of the Enterprise and miscellaneous sci-fi stars. Also on the list: Elvira, Tia Carrere and Max Headroom. Tired of the name-dropping yet? I’m not!)

I don’t have photos of myself with these stars of stage and screen because when they come back to the gold room for a rest and some lunch, it’s their downtime. I don’t want to disturb their break with yet another request for a photo and autograph when that’s what they’ve been doing all day, for people who have waited in line for hours. Sometimes they’re chatty – although rarely about the movies or shows that made them famous – and it’s fantastic to be able to sit and talk about Jarlsberg cheese and backyard gardening and how to grow lovage with Gil Gerard – Buck Rogers! – after all, they’re just people. Which is why I bring food – but never my camera.

I made these cheesecakes in a jar for the stars of the Calgary Expo this weekend – often they don’t want to take much time away from their panels or signing duties, and so I figured they’d be something tasty they could screw the lid on and take to go. Little unbaked cheesecakes in mason jars are popular on restaurant menus, and ridiculously easy to make.

Those small (125 mL) ring-top jars are perfect. I totally winged it. Although I’m sure graham crumbs straight-up would have been fine, I mixed mine with a little melted butter and sugar (1 Tbsp. each to 1 cup crumbs) and then pressed a spoonful into the bottom of each jar.

The filling is a package of cream cheese, beaten with cream and sugar until it’s smooth and fluffy and dollopable – I did 1 – 8 oz. pkg with 1/4 cup sugar and 1/2-3/4 cup whipping cream, although you could adjust each according to your taste. I added a big drop of vanilla too (vanilla bean paste, in fact – I love that you can see the seeds – they have it at the Cookbook Company in Calgary).

On top, some quickly stewed strawberries and rhubarb – both just chopped and simmered in a small pot with some sugar and a splash of lemon juice. You don’t have to worry about it turning into jam, just that it tastes good. Any fruit preserves would do well here, which means the little cheesecakes in jars you just mastered are perfect for any season of the year – and perfect for parties. Whether your friends have been on the Starship Enterprise or not.


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28 comments on “Strawberry-Rhubarb Cheesecake in a Jar

  1. Nurse Jenn
    May 1, 2012 at 5:58 am

    Such a great idea! You are a lucky lady to cook for such cool crowd. Your kiddo should be impressed! I think I would top mine with a Saskatoon combo … or perhaps a chocolate mousse/sauce. Yummy!

  2. Jan @ Family Bites
    May 1, 2012 at 7:59 am

    So cool! Love the no-bake treats in jars…great idea!

  3. Anonymous
    May 1, 2012 at 8:08 am

    Another blog I read was showing off a Calgary photographer’s shots and I saw these pics of tables with Jean Luc Picard, etc. And I WONDERED- is Julie there cooking for these sci-fi characters as she has done in the past? Thank you for answering my question. 🙂
    I think these little jar desserts would be PERFECT for our annual Canada Day bbq with friends. Thanks for another fantastic idea.

  4. Lana
    May 1, 2012 at 8:10 am

    DAMN. The anonymous above is ME. How do I keep doing that? 😀

  5. Joanne
    May 1, 2012 at 9:23 am

    OK Julie, this post came in much faster, so looks as if the resizing worked. Heard you on CBC this morning–great stuff!

  6. Carolyn
    May 1, 2012 at 10:25 am

    Beautiful! Can’t wait to try these — maybe for Mother’s Day!

  7. beth lehman
    May 1, 2012 at 11:41 am

    holy crap – my kids would FREAK to have these!! great idea!

  8. sara
    May 1, 2012 at 12:15 pm

    Yum, these look really delicious! So tasty!

  9. Cindy H
    May 1, 2012 at 3:29 pm

    These look so colourful and fancy!
    I also think it’s cool that you give the stars a break and leave your camera at home.
    It must be so nice to just visit while you’re feeding them! Memories are more fun for you that way, rather than being nervous about asking for pics or autographs!
    People are basically all the same. The way to our hearts is through our stomach. 🙂

  10. Barb
    May 1, 2012 at 7:12 pm

    I am sufficiently wowed! (and the recipe is not bad either!)

  11. Erica B.
    May 1, 2012 at 8:47 pm

    Love this! I was planning some for a school bake sale but couldn’t find any that were no bake-Martha would have you go to the trouble of eggs and a bain marie. (also needed a fridge and there wasn’t one so I went on to plan B). I think I may have some of last summer’s Edgar Farms rhubarb in the freezer-these are definitely going on my must make list.

    Thanks for the weekend recap; sounds like it was a lot of busy & a lot of fun.

  12. Stacey
    May 1, 2012 at 9:51 pm

    I was one of the people waiting patiently in line to have my photo taken with Sir Patrick Stewart. Did you get any comments about the cheesecake jars? They look scrumptious!

    p.s. I made your Black Bean, Quinoa and Mango salad for my own pot luck of visiting geeks on Friday night and it was a big success! After some people got over eying it suspiciously…maybe they’ve never seen quinoa before?

  13. colesangel
    May 2, 2012 at 12:15 am





  14. Elaine
    May 2, 2012 at 6:55 am

    Gil Gerard! Adam West! Patrick Stewart! Your 6-year-old might not be sufficiently impressed, but this 29-year-old sure is. Also, the cheesecakes. My God, the cheesecakes.

  15. June
    May 2, 2012 at 10:38 am

    Great idea Julie. I’ve a big party coming up on Monday and this’ll be just the ticket for that third dessert choice I always insist on. Thanks for the inspiration – now if I could just find some rhubarb in this godforsaken place. LOL!

  16. Karen
    May 3, 2012 at 10:41 am

    What a cute little dessert. I think these would be perfect for an outdoor bbq dessert.

  17. Vanessa
    May 3, 2012 at 3:12 pm

    This looks amazing! Perfect for a picnic or backyard party. Can’t wait to try it. Love the jars!

  18. Dana
    May 3, 2012 at 9:07 pm

    This inspired me to make strawberry rhubarb jam with rhubarb from last year’s crop in the freezer and strawberries on sale at the grocer. YUM!

  19. Crystal @ A Lovin' Forkful
    May 4, 2012 at 10:08 pm

    Such a cute recipe! I think I need to go out and buy some mini-mason jars just so I can make some of these adorable little desserts I keep seeing around. I love rhubarb, I never thought of pairing it with cheesecake. Sounds amazing!

  20. Colleen
    May 5, 2012 at 7:57 am


    Where is the best place to pick up little jars like these in Calgary?

  21. Jen
    May 5, 2012 at 8:40 am

    That is just such a super combo of flavors…can’t wait to give it a try for myself.

    Strawberry Rhubarb is the best isn’t it!!!

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  22. JulieVR
    May 8, 2012 at 8:40 pm

    Colleen – anywhere, really! I got mine at the Superstore! They’re just ring top canning jars, 125 mL.

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