Italian Cheesecake Jars

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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We have developed this recipe for Åhléns campaign Alla Länders Land which focuses on welcoming more food cultures to the Swedish summer table. 

37 Comments

  • esmeralda
    This is increadible!!! i love it !! what do you think if i try to mix the mascarpone with some ricotta?
    • Hi Esmeralda, It's a good idea. We have made it with ricotta a few times and we love it. It makes the contrast between the sweet fruit and the cheese even more distinct, although a little grainier than with the mascarpone. /David
  • My eyeballs exploded with excitement. I love the colors in this recipe. So glad to have found this blog!!!
  • I agree with Luis! There's no such thing as too simple. The best recipe to me is one with layers of flavors that taste like it was complicated to make but actually really simple. Looks like you've achieved this with these cheesecake jars. Will definitely will be making this!
  • Jx
    I am making probiotic lemonade , should be ready by Friday when I have friends around for supper.I shall Serve this Gorgeous pudding with it Thank you. It looks lovely Jx
  • Simple is good! Especially something sweet and fresh and nurturing like these, just gorgeous :)
  • Dorothy Di Santo
    Wow, this is so unique and simple, will be making this very soon. Your recipes are fabulous, please keep sharing them. Thank you
  • Jill Cowan
    Thanks so much for sharing your fantastic recipies, you have totally inspired my family's cooking and eating habits. It's always a delight to receive a new post from you . I look forward to making this over the weekend it looks and sounds amazing.Wishing you and your family all the best keep up the great work . Jill
  • Jelena
    I had some mascarpone left over from a strawbery cake, so the timing was perfect. I made this and it was so so delicious. Thanks for the perfect easy warm weather desert!
  • This looks so delicious! :) I'll definitely be making a vegan version of this soon, it's perfect for the warm weather we're starting to have over here, in Portugal. Beautiful photography, as always! xo
  • I love any healthy recipe that would fit on a buffet table! This is such an incredibly clever dish to serve at a summer brunch party! The colors of the peaches look so beautiful and vivid!
  • These would be perfect for a picnic! Looks so lovely and indulgent! x
  • These are the kinds of desserts I want to eat in the coming summer, bright, light ones filled with fruit that I don't have to turn on my oven to make. I'm bookmarking this for when the temperature soars.
  • This is absolutely beautiful. This is the best kind of recipe! Minimum effort and maximum result! David, you are the best food photographer out there. Just love your style guys!
  • Gorgeous! Can't wait til my strawberries are ready to try this :)
  • Lucia
    Lovely recipe!but I was just wondering, you're not vegan as you eat eggs and cheese and honey, but in your recipes I see you never use cow's milk. Is there avreason? What do you think of drinking cow milk?
  • Your recipe is likely to increase my appetite more & more... its been delicious & fantastic, no doubt... keep writing more yummy dishes... Thanks for sharing & your kind attention to detail!!!
  • These are so colorful and fun! What a fantastic dessert idea.
  • Wow, beautiful and simple! It would be wonderful to make for a dessert at a summer barbecue! H x
  • This is perfect! Perfectly simple!

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