I asked Luise if this was too simple? It’s almost not a recipe, just a quick thing we have been making when we crave dessert but don’t feel like busting out any mixers or even turning on the oven. “What, too simple? That’s my favorite kind of recipe. Nothing can ever be too simple!” she told me. So here it is. A simple Italian twist on cheesecake, served in small jars or glasses. It features two of our favourite summer fruits on a bed of creamy lemon & vanilla mascarpone and the simplest raw crumble you’ll ever make.
Even though we sometimes make it on regular weeknights, this is the most perfect thing to serve on a summer buffet table. It’s quick and effortless and looks really pretty in small jars or shot glasses. It’s easy to quadruple the recipe too, so you could make 30 jars in no-time.
The crumble is simply made from mashed dates, roughly chopped almonds and a pinch of salt. Simple and crunchy. It also keeps well without going soggy. The mascarpone filling is deliciously decadent. It can be replaced with thick Greek yogurt for a lighter twist. It can also be made vegan by replacing the mascarpone with coconut yogurt or by making the cashew filling from our flower power cake.
We let the fruit macerate in a squeeze of lemon and honey. It makes it even more flavourful and it also helps the fruit release liquid that will sip down the sides of the jar like a natural fruit syrup. This simple fruit salad is also really good on its own or on top of any breakfast bowl.
Italian Cheesecake Jars
Makes 8 small jars or 4 larger ones
If making this ahead, we’d recommend only filling the jars with crumble and mascarpone, and keeping the fruit salad in a separate jar until right before serving. Strawberries and peaches are often heavily sprayed so choose organic if possible.
15 strawberries, rinsed and hulled
3 peaches, rinsed
1 lemon, washed
2 tbsp (unheated) runny honey or maple syrup
80 g / ½ cup raw almonds
8 soft dates, stones removed
1 pinch sea salt
250 g mascarpone
½ tsp ground vanilla or pure vanilla extract
a small handful lemon balm or mint leaves
Cut the fruit in smaller pieces and place in a bowl. Squeeze over 1/2 lemon and 1 tbsp honey, toss and let sit for 15 minutes.
Roughly chop the almonds and mash the dates with a fork. Stir together and divide on the bottom of 8 small glasses or jars. Stir together mascarpone and vanilla, add zest and juice from the rest of the lemon together with 1 tbsp honey, stir until combined and then dollop it into the glasses on top of the date crumble. Add the marinated fruit right before serving them on the buffet table, top with lemon balm and decorate with flower petals, lavender or elderflowers.
We have developed this recipe for Åhléns campaign Alla Länders Land which focuses on welcoming more food cultures to the Swedish summer table.