2cupsfresh berriesmix if strawberries and raspberries
½cupgranulated white sugar
Make the crust
Line a 8 x 8 inch pan with aluminium foil with overhanging edges. Spray the aluminium foil lightly with a non-stick spray and set aside.
Preheat oven to 350 F degrees.
In a food processor pulse together graham crackers till you get fine crumbs.
Add granulated sugar and cinnamon powder and pulse to combine.
Transfer the crumbs to another container and add melted butter to it. Mix the butter thoroughly till the mixture resembles wet sand.
Press the crumbs firmly into the bottom of the prepared pan, first using your fingers and then using back of a measuring cup.
Bake at 325 F degrees for around 12 minutes or till crust looks golden brown. Remove the pan from oven and set aside to cool.
Make the filling
Take softened cream cheese in a bowl, make sure that the cream cheese is at room temperature. This is absolutely essential.
Beat the cream cheese using the paddle attachment of your stand mixer or using your hand mixer till completely smooth and creamy, around 2-3 minutes. scraping from the sides as required. There shouldn’t be any lumps.
Add vanilla extract and lemon zest (if using) and mix. Scrape the bowl from side and bottom.
Add granulated sugar and mix till well combined. Also add in the egg.
Scrape the bowl from the sides and bottom and give one final mix. Your cheesecake batter should not have any lumps.
Pour the cheesecake batter on top of the cooled crust.
Bake at 325 F degrees for around 45 minutes or till the edges start to get brown. Once it's baked, let it sit in the oven (with the oven off and door slightly open) for around 20 minutes and then take it out of the oven and let cool completely.
Make the topping
While the cheesecake bars are baking make the berry topping. To a pan on medium heat, add strawberries and raspberries along with sugar and 2 tablespoons water.
Cook for 4-5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
In the meanwhile, prepare the cornstarch slurry by mixing together cornstarch, 1.5 tablespoon water and lemon juice. Add the cornstarch slurry to the pan and mix.
Keep cooking for additional 3-4 minutes or till the mixture really thickens. Set aside to cool.
Assemble the cheesecake bars
Once the cheesecake and the topping, both have cooled down, pour the topping over the cheesecake. You a spatula to make sure topping reaches the corner of the pan.
Cover the pan and refrigerate for a minimum of 3 hours or preferably overnight.
Once the cheesecake bars are set, take them out of the refrigerator, cut into bars and enjoy!