Rhubarb & Cherry Cheesecake Bars

This recipe began when I made a simple rhubarb and sour cherry compote.  Incorporating it into a cheesecake was a delicious next step that adds yet another use for my favorite springtime ingredient and including the sour cherries from last seasons harvest was a nice way to celebrate that harvest. 

Rhubarb &  Cherry Cheesecake Bars

Rhubarb & Cherry Cheesecake Bars

By Inspired by the Seasons

For the crust:

  • 1 1/2 c graham cracker crumbs, from 10 crackers
  • 4 T butter
  • 2 tsp fresh grated ginger

For the cheesecake:

  • 16 oz cream cheese at room temperature
  • 1/2 c sugar
  • 2 T lemon juice
  • 4 T 2% milk
  • 2 eggs at room temperature
  • 1 tsp vanilla 

For the swirl topping:

  • 1 c rhubarb cut into 1" pieces
  • 1 c sour cherries
  • 1 T lime juice
  • 3 T sugar

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line an 8x8 baking dish with parchment paper making sure there is enough excess for lifting the cake after it is finished cooking.

For the compote swirl:

  • In a small saucepan on medium low heat, add the rhubarb, cherries, lime and sugar and bring to a simmer.  Continue to simmer for 10 minutes until thickened.  Set aside for 15 minutes.  This is a good time to make the crust.  After the mixture has cooled, take 1/3 c and strain through a fine mesh sieve. You should have about 2 T of the strained mixture.

For the crust:

Place butter and ginger in a small bowl and microwave for 30 seconds until butter is melted. In a medium size bowl, pour the butter mixture into the graham crumbs while stirring together.  Press into the prepared pan and put in oven to bake for about 10 minutes.

For the filling: 

Beat together cream cheese and sugar until smooth.  Add the eggs, milk, lemon juice and vanilla and beat until creamy and smooth.  Spread filling over baked crust.  Dot the rhubarb and cherry mixture on top and using a knife or skewer swirl over filling. Bake for 30 minutes until it is set around the edges.  Cool completely and then chill before serving. Makes 12 bars.

Rhubarb & Cherry Compote