frozen apricot curd-cheesecake bars
I’m a determined (i.e. stubborn) person. When I get a vision for a recipe, I become even more focused than usual, determined to execute the idea in a specific way. I had leftover apricot curd from my tart and envisioned using the curd in a layered apricot-cheesecake popsicle. I made the popsicles (and fussed over the layers meticulously), only to find that the popsicle sticks didn’t set when I tried to unmold them. Refusing to admit defeat, I made a fresh batch of apricot curd and tried again; no luck. Somewhat frustrated, I spooned the mixture out of the molds and shoved it in the freezer, hoping for a new idea.
My new idea came later, specifically at 4 AM during a restless night’s sleep. I wasn’t sure if using the mixture in the style of an ice cream sandwich would work, but I decided to try anyway (at a more reasonable hour!). Happily, the dessert came together on my third try. The sweet-tart curd is swirled together with a tangy cheesecake filling for a true taste sensation. I sandwiched the mixture between honey graham crackers in a nod to the graham cracker crust that usually accompanies cheesecake. These no-bake bars come together quickly and don’t require an ice cream maker. If you don’t care for apricots, try these with any type of curd you like.
Frozen Apricot Curd-Cheesecake Bars
1/2 cup apricot curd
2 apricots, diced
4 ounces reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup plain fat-free yogurt
1/4 cup sugar
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp almond extract
4 sheets honey graham crackers, crushed
12 sheets honey graham crackers, halved
Combine apricot curd and apricots in a small bowl. Combine cream cheese, yogurt, sugar, and extracts in a food processor; process until smooth. Scrape cheesecake mixture into a medium bowl and fold in crushed graham crackers. Swirl in apricot curd, then chill mixture in the freezer for 2 hours.
Remove mixture from freezer and let stand at room temperature 10 to 15 minutes. Spread mixture evenly onto 12 graham cracker squares; top with remaining squares. Wrap each bar in plastic wrap; freeze 1 hour or until firm. Let stand at room temperature 5 to 10 minutes before serving. Store leftovers in the freezer in an airtight container up to 1 week.
Yield – 12 bars (serving size: 1 bar)
Calories – 168
Carbs – 28