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Author Notes: Fresh plum compote swirled into cheesecake bars with a cinnamon graham cracker crust. Adapted from a Martha Stewart recipe. For step by step photos, go to: http://www.icancookthat.org/2013/08/plum-swirled-cheesecake-bars.html —I Can Cook That
- 1/2 cup port wine (or water)
- 1/2 cup sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1 vanilla bean, cut lengthwise
- 1 orange, zested
- 6 plums, stones removed and sliced
- 18 graham crackers (cinnamon, if preferred)
- 3/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
- 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter, melted
- 16 ounces (2 packages) cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 cup sour cream, room temperature
- 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- coarse salt, to taste
- 2 large eggs, room temperature
- 1.Begin by making the plum compote. You can make this ahead of time. Just keep refrigerated until ready to use. Add the port wine (you can substitute in ½ cup water if you want), sugar, cinnamon stick, vanilla bean, and zest to a small pot
- Bring to a boil over medium heat.
- While waiting for the mixture to come to a boil (you won’t have to wait long, it’s quite quick), slice your plums. I kept the skin on but if you have the patience, I think peeling the plums would be a good idea.
- When the mixture is boiling, add the sliced plums and reduce heat to low.
- Cook for 30 minutes, uncovered, or until the plums begin to break down. Don’t worry if it doesn’t look like a lot of liquid at first. The plums will give off a lot! Stir occasionally.
- After 30 minutes, remove from heat. Remove the cinnamon stick and the vanilla bean and pour into a heat safe dish. Refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight to allow to thicken.
- To make the cheesecake, preheat your oven to 350 degrees. In a food processor, blend the graham crackers, 1 tablespoon sugar, and ¼ teaspoon salt until crumbs form.
- Add the crumbs to a medium bowl and stir in the melted butter, mixing to combine evenly. Add the crumbs to a 9 by 13 inch baking pan, pressing down with a flat bottomed surface.
- Bake for 15 minutes or until the crust is firm. Remove from the oven and let cool on a wire rack. Reduce the oven temperature to 325 degrees.
- Wipe the food processor bowl clean. When the compote is set, add to the food processor with 1 tablespoon water and blend until smooth. If you didn’t peel the plums, there will still be some skin in the mixture; that’s fine.
- Add the cream cheese and sour cream to a large bowl. Beat on medium until smooth.
- Add ¾ cup sugar and beat to combine. Add the vanilla extract and a pinch of salt. Beat to combine.
- Add the eggs and beat until smooth. Pour the mixture into the cooled crust and smooth the top.
- Drop small teaspoonfuls of the plum compote randomly on the cream cheese mixture. (You will probably only use about half of the compote. Reserve the rest to spoon over ice cream or enjoy on toast!)
- Using a skewer or a butter knife, gently swirl the compote throughout the top of the cream cheese mixture.
- Cut into squares and serve.