Raspberry Lemon Cheesecake Squares

We are obsessed with raspberries right now. Sebastian has decided that they are his new favorite food, and he is very enthusiastic about the things that he likes and dislikes these days, so unless I want him to eat raspberries for every meal, I have to keep them hidden. He convinced me to buy a large flat of them at the market this week, so here I was balancing raspberries and a baby stroller trying to get on the bus downtown. When I got home I realized that we couldn't possibly eat that many berries before going bad, so I decided to make some into a compote that I would ladle over some creamy lemon cheesecake squares. 

These cheesecake squares are everything. They are creamy and silky, lemony and just the right amount of sweet. The raspberries and a little tart, but pair so well with the creaminess from the cheesecake. They remind me of the Sara Lee cherry cheesecake we used to eat as kids, only better. They were pretty easy to make. I let them rest in the fridge overnight and then ladled the raspberries the next day. Holy, they are so good. 

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makes 16 squares

prep time: 20 minutes

cooking time: 50 minutes

1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs

6 tbsp unsalted butter, melted

1/3 cup granulated sugar

16 oz cream cheese, room temperature

2 large eggs

1/2 cup granulated sugar

1 lemon, juice and zest

2 pints raspberries (16 oz)

1 tsp corn starch

1/4 cup granulated sugar

Preheat the oven to 300ºF.

Lined a 9x9 square baking dish with parchment paper.

In a large bowl combine the graham cracker crumbs, melted butter, and sugar. Press the graham crumb mixture into the baking pan with a spatula until compact and flat.

Place the pan into the oven on the middle rack and bake for 10 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool.

Increase the oven temperature to 325ºF.

In the bowl of a stand mixer with the paddle attachment or with a hand mixture, beat the cream cheese until smooth.

Add the eggs one at a time and mix until smooth.

Add the granulated sugar and combine. Then add the lemon juice and zest and mix until creamy.

Pour the mixture over the graham crust and then place the pan into the oven and bake for 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and let cool for at least 3 hours, over night preferably. You can store in the fridge until ready to serve.

In a medium saucepan over medium heat, bring the raspberries, corn starch, and sugar to a low simmer. Continue to simmer for 10 minutes until raspberries have broken down into a sauce, with a few uniform pieces intact. Let cool.

Ladle over the cheesecake bars. Slice and serve. Can be stored in the fridge for 4 days.