Whether you’re planning on throwing a casual Friday night get-together, or just looking to spend some downtime in your air-conditioned apartment, we have the perfect recipe for you to whip up this weekend: Strawberry Jam Cheesecake Bars with Buckwheat-Almond Crust. The gluten-free treats come from the new cookbook Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share ($12; amazon.com) written by Food & Wine editor Kristin Donnelly.
“With goat cheese and lemon zest in the filling, and earthy buckwheat in the crust, this is a grown-up version of cheesecake,” writes Donnelly. “I especially love the Quick Strawberry Jam, but any jam works well.” Check out the recipe below.
Strawberry Jam Cheesecake Bars with Buckwheat-Almond Crust
Makes one 9 x 13-inch pan of bars
For the Crust
1/2 cup (1 stick) butter, softened, plus more for the pan
1 cup buckwheat flour
3/4 cup almond meal
1/2 cup packed light brown sugar
pinch of kosher salt
For the Filling
1 8-oz package cream cheese
1 tube (about 11 oz) fresh goat cheese
2/3 cup granulated sugar
2 large eggs
finely grated zest from 1 medium lemon
1 1/2 cups Quickest Strawberry Jam (recipe follows) or store-bought jam
For the Quickest Strawberry Jam
2 pounds strawberries, hulled
1/2 cup sugar
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a 9 x 13-inch pan with parchment paper so the edge overhangs by 1 inch on the long sides. Butter the exposed sides of the pan.
2. To make the jam: In a wide, nonreactive pan, combine the strawberries and sugar. Use your hands to mash the strawberries. Keep working until the mixture looks like a rough, liquid-y jam and the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat and cook, skimming off the foam occasionally, until thickened and jammy, about 20 minutes. (The jam can be covered and refrigerated for about 1 week.) Tip: To flavor the jam, try adding one of the following: 1/4 teaspoon pink peppercorns; 1 thyme sprig (which you remove before eating); 1/2 teaspoon dried lavender; or a tiny pinch of ground cardamom.
3. To prepare the crust: In a large bowl, whisk the buckwheat flour with the almond meal, brown sugar, and salt. Using a pastry blender or your fingers, work the 1/2 cup of butter into the dry mixture until incorporated. Press the crust into the prepared pan in an even layer.
4. Bake for about 20 minutes, until dry to the touch. Let cool slightly.
4. To make the filling: In a large bowl, using a handheld electric mixer, beat the cream cheese with the goat cheese, sugar, eggs, and lemon zest until fluffy. Spread the filling over the warm crust.
6. Bake for 15 minutes, until the top feels dry. Spread the jam over the cheese filling and bake for 10 to 15 more minutes, until sticky. Transfer the pan to a wire rack and let cool completely. Refrigerate for at least 3 hours, until well chilled.
Reprinted from Modern Potluck: Beautiful Food to Share. Copyright © 2016 by Kristin Donnelly. Photographs copyright © 2016 by Yossy Arefi. Published by Clarkson Potter/Publishers, an imprint of Penguin Random House LLC.