I finally invested in a cherry pitter
from Amazon and I am so glad I did. The best part is Miss F loves to operate it. I wish I had bought it years ago, especially since it was so cheap. Miss F loves cherries and loves making her hands pink from the cherries. I made these cheesecake bars based on a recipe from the Beverly Hills Market and Deli, but I made a few changes. These bars are super simple to make and I can't wait to try it with other summer berries. They are much easier than a cheesecake and have the same great taste.
1 cup graham cracker crumbs
3 tablespoons butter, melted
1 ¼ cup cherries, pitted and chopped
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tablespoon water
2 teaspoons lemon juice
½ teaspoon cornstarch
8 ounces cream cheese , softened
1⁄3 cup sugar
½ teaspoon vanilla
Combine graham cracker crumbs and melted butter. Press into the bottom of an 8" square pan. Bake at 350 for 8-10 minutes. Cool. Reduce oven temperature to 325.
Meanwhile, combine cherries, 1 tablespoon sugar and water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer until cherries are soft, about 5 minutes. Combine lemon juice and cornstarch. Stir into cherry mixture and cook until thickened. Remove from heat and cool slightly.
While cherry mixture is cooling, place cream cheese, sugar, egg and vanilla in a food processor. Process until smooth. Spread over cooled crust. Dollop cherry mixture over cream cheese layer. Cut through with a knife to swirl.
Bake at 325 for 30-35 minutes or until set. Cool on wire rack. Cover and chill at least 3 hours. Cut into 12 bars.
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