Red, White and Berry Cheesecake Bars
- Yield: 20 pieces
- -- Nonstick cooking spray
- 9whole honey-cinnamon graham squares
- 1/4cup sugar
- 4tablespoons butter, melted
- 2large eggs
- 8ounces low-fat cream cheese, softened
- 1/2cup sugar
- 1teaspoon vanilla extract
- Berry Topping:
- 1/4cup cranberry-juice concentrate (defrosted if frozen)
- 1/2cup water, divided
- 1/4cup sugar
- 2tablespoons cornstarch
- 1teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
- 2teaspoons lemon juice
- 1/2teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg)
- 1/2pint fresh blueberries
- 1/2pint fresh blackberries
- To prepare the crust: Spray a 9-inch square baking dish with cooking spray and set aside. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Process the graham crackers in a food processor to fine crumbs. Add the sugar, processing to mix. Then add the melted butter and pulse to mix. Press into the bottom of the prepared pan and bake 5 minutes. Cool.
- To prepare the filling: Clean the processor. Add the eggs, cream cheese, sugar and vanilla; process until smooth and creamy. Pour over the crust and bake about 20 minutes or until firm in the center when the dish is gently shaken. Cool on a rack.
- To prepare the topping: Combine the cranberry juice concentrate, 1/4 cup water and the sugar in a saucepan. Stir over medium-low heat to dissolve the sugar. Bring the mixture to a simmer. Dissolve the cornstarch in the remaining 1/4 cup water. Whisk into liquid and cook until thickened and clear, about 1 minute. Remove from the heat and stir in the lemon zest, juice and nutmeg. Cool.
- Rinse the berries briefly, and remove any stems. Let drain. Stir into the topping, then pour over the cheesecake, spreading evenly. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. (The bars can be made a day in advance, covered and refrigerated.)