Some trends come and go while others have staying power. For me, the whole dessert in a jar trend was cute the first few times but by now it’s already a little tired. I am just as guilty for jumping onto this bandwagon with my take on Cherry Almond Cobbler (in a jar!), Rhubarb Big Crumb Coffee Cake (in a jar!), and Rice Pudding with Roasted Rhubarb (in a jar!). Well, you get the idea.
Last weekend, I finally have a legitimate reason to cram a dessert into canning jars. I treated Boyfriend to a special Birthday Bento which I lovingly prepared (more about that in coming days but here is a preview). He’s a meat-and-potato kind of guy so I created an appropriately meat-and-potato kind of bento for him. For dessert, I took inspiration from a childhood favourite. Once upon a time, KFC used to sell single-serving cheesecakes in little plastic cup containers. Cherry or blueberry? Cherry of course.
I created this no-bake cheesecake with the standard 125mL/4oz canning jars in mind (Ball and Jarden and Bernardin all makes them). It is the perfect treat size for lunch on the go. Most cheesecake recipes would yield way too many servings. My recipe is scaled down specifically to create only four servings with the least hassles. It is a dessert that I can easily whip up in between attending to other tasks in the kitchen. That’s the way a weeknight dessert ought to be.
While this dessert was created for bento or brown bag lunch, you can certainly serve it as part of a casual meal. Simply change up your serving vessel to something fancier and you have yourself an elegant dessert. As much as I enjoy a proper show-stopping cheesecake, sometimes I also appreciate the convenience of something a little less involved.
I can’t wait to tell you more about the Birthday Bento! Boyfriend loved it even though he did not have a chance to enjoy it until dinner time. Being in a long distance relationship means the simple act of sending a loved one to work with homemade lunch is a luxury. In this case, a late night of cooking, a carefully planned travel itinerary, and an early morning flight all worked seamlessly together so I could deliver my bento to his hands. The things we do for people we care about!
No-Bake Cherry Cheesecake In A Jar
makes 4 125mL/4oz servings
- 150g frozen sour cherry
- 100g granulated sugar
- pinch of salt
- 5 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1 teaspoon amaretto
- 15g unsalted butter
- 3 tablespoon graham cracker crumb
- 3 tablespoon ground almond
- pinch of salt
- 100g cream cheese, softened at room temperature until pliable
- 20g icing sugar
- 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
- 125mL heavy cream, cold from the fridge
- In a small saucepan, combine all ingredients for the cherry compote except for amaretto. Let the frozen cherries defrost and macerate while you work on the other components.
- In a small microwavable bowl, melt the butter in 10 seconds intervals. Toss in graham cracker crumbs, ground almond, and salt until moistened. Divide crumbs between four 125mL/4oz canning jars and press to compact. You can either chill the crust at this point or toast it a bit in a toaster oven until golden.
- In a small mixing bowl, beat cream cheese, icing sugar, lemon juice, and vanilla extract using a wooden spoon or silicone spoonula until smooth. In a tall measuring cup, measure out heavy cream and whip it with an immersion blender or hand mixer until billowy. Fold whipped cream into cream cheese mixture until smooth. Divide between your four canning jars and chill until set, about 2 hours.
- When your cherry mixture is all saucy, heat over high heat until it boils. Let it boils for a minute or two until the sauce thickens. Stir in amaretto. Empty into a container and chill in fridge.
- When you’re ready to pack lunch, top each canning jar with cherry compote. Close the jar lid and don’t forget to pack a spoon! Assembled cheesecakes keep well in fridge for up to 3 days.