Apricot-Strawberry Compote + Cheesecake Bars

I was mightily pleased with the way these fruity, swirly, creamy, dreamy cheesecake bars turned out. I was a little wary of the compote part at first, but it turns out to be extremely easy. I'm thinking about trying other fruit combinations and recipes, like apricot-orange muffins. I like to make smaller batches of sweets, since I end up eating them all myself, but this recipe can easily be doubled.

Fruit Swirled Cheesecake Bars
makes around 10

Ingredients:

  • 9 graham crackers
  • 1/2 cup + 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 cup (1/2 a stick) butter, melted
  • 5 ounces fruit (about 1 apricot and 2-3 strawberries), chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 8-oz package cream cheese, room temperature
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
Directions:
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, or in a large zip-lock bag and a rolling pin, process graham crackers, 1 tablespoons sugar, and 1/8 teaspoon salt until fine crumbs form. Transfer to a bowl and stir in melted butter until crumbs are moistened. Press crumbs evenly into a 9-by-13-inch baking pan. Bake until crust is firm, about 15 minutes. Let cool on a wire rack. Reduce heat to 325 degrees.
  2. In a small saucepan, bring fruit, 1/8 cup sugar, and pinch of salt to a boil over medium-high heat, stirring, until sugar dissolves. Reduce heat and gently simmer, stirring frequently, until mixture is shiny, about 10 minutes. Puree fruit mixture, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon water.
  3. In a large bowl, beat cream cheese and sour cream until smooth. Add 3/8 cup sugar and beat until smooth. Add vanilla and pinch of salt and beat to combine. Add egg and beat until smooth, scraping down bowl as needed. Pour cream-cheese mixture into cooled crust and smooth top.
  4. Randomly pour spoonfuls  of fruit puree onto cream-cheese mixture. With a skewer or thin-bladed knife, gently swirl puree. Bake just until set, about 20-25 minutes. Let cool slightly in pan, then refrigerate until chilled (2 hours) and firm before cutting into squares.
  1. *original recipe by Martha Stewart