A few weeks ago, we had friends visiting so we took them to Chez Boris, one of our favorite restaurants here in Montpellier. We ordered a Tiramisu for dessert and it came to our table served in a jar. As the four of us demolished it in about 30 seconds, Michael said, “a jar makes every dessert taste better.” Dessert in a jar is very common here in France and, in addition to creating a nice presentation, it’s just freaking adorable.
A few days later, Michael and I were invited to dinner at a friend’s house and were asked to bring a dessert. Instantly, I began searching online for something I could make in a jar. Did you know how many things you can make in a jar?? Pies, brownies, sundaes, tiramisu, cheesecakes, and more. I jumped right on the bandwagon. I finally found a really yummy, spring-y sounding recipe for Berry Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes, which seemed like the perfect choice.
I loaded up on raspberries, blackberries and blueberries (sometimes scarce here!), bought some jars, and got to work. The result was so fun and delicious. I was worried that the goat cheese might be a little strong, but the lemon really mellowed it out and it tasted rich and decadent. This is great choice to bring to a dinner party because of its portability and I think it would also make the perfect summertime treat to bring to a picnic or BBQ in the park.
The only bad thing I will say about how this turned out, is that the recipe I used called six 8 ounce jars. We couldn’t find that size here and, since we only needed 4, we bought the 350g jars, which is about 12 ounces. The serving size was pretty huge!! So maybe try to find the 8 ounce jars or find someone to share your giant dessert.
Berry Lemon Goat Cheese Cheesecakes
adapted from Dash of East
makes four 350g jars or six 8 ounce jars
1 cup crushed Nilla wafers. Or if you’re in France, Langues de Chat (which yes, means cat’s tongues!)
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
dash of salt
8 oz cream cheese, at room temperature
10 oz goat cheese, at room temperature
3/4 cup sugar
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons butter
1 cup of chopped/halfed berries of your choice
juice of one lemon
1 tablespoon sugar
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Place the Nilla wafers in a plastic bag and crush with a rolling pin.
Combine the crushed wafers, melted butter, vanilla and salt together in a medium sized mixing bowl. Then divide evenly between the jars. Make sure to pack the crust mixture down firmly. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
Using a hand mixer (or if you’re fancy, a stand mixer with paddle attachment) mix the sugar, cream cheese and goat cheese together on low setting until the mixture is well combined. Then add one egg at a time, mixing well between each. Finally, add the lemon juice and mix well.
Divide the filling evenly between the jars. Then place the jars in a roasting pan and fill the pan up with boiling water, the top of the water should be about an inch below the top of the jars. I was a little intimidated by this step, but it was super easy. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes, until the edges of the filling is solid and the middle jiggly.
Turn the oven off and let the jars sit in the oven for another 20 minutes. Carefully remove and let cool in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or preferably overnight.
Melt the butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the berries, lemon juice and sugar and let simmer for about 5 minutes. Make sure to mix the berry mixture every 30 seconds or so. You can either top the cheesecakes with a warm topping or let the topping cool before adding to the cheesecakes. I let it cool, added it to the cheesecakes, and then refrigerated for a few hours.
Garnish with additional berries if you wish.
Serve and enjoy!