Passion Fruit-Ginger Cheesecake Bars are sweet, tart, subtly spicy, creamy and oh-so-pretty! When passion fruit is in season, there are so many sweet recipe possibilities.This is an interesting and very delicious dessert. And by interesting, I mean it’s far different from your run-of-the-mill (also delicious) cheesecakes.
It’s alluring. I mean, look at it! That color! Those dots! Look even more closely and you’ll see delicate specs of ground cardamom, cinnamon and freshly grated ginger.
In one bite, through utterly lovely creaminess, you’ll taste the warmth of the spices, the kick from the ginger, and sweet tartness from the passion fruit.
How to Make Passion Fruit-Ginger Cheesecake Bars
- Make the crust first. In a food processor, blend the ginger cookies into fine crumbs. Then mix them with melted butter and press it into a parchment-lined pan. Bake and cool.
Mix all of the ingredients for the filling (except a portion of the powdered sugar).
Add the filling to the crust and refrigerate for at least four hours.
Add the passion fruit pulp/juice to bowl and sift in the with the remaining tablespoon of powdered sugar. Whisk to blend and pour this over the cheesecake.
How to Cut Cheesecake Bars
- Gently lift the cake from the pan with the edges of the parchment paper, and place it onto a cutting board.
- Slice it into bars, wiping the knife clean between each cut.
- If you find it is not easy to make neat bars, you can place the cheesecake in the freezer for 30 minutes before slices. (Though afterwards, it should sit a bit to be less firm for serving.)
Tips for Making These Cheesecake Bars
- Here’s How to Juice and Use Passion Fruit.
- If you use an electric mixer for the filling, you will get the smoothest, creamiest results.
- As I mentioned above, if there’s any difficulty cutting neat bars, freeze the cheesecake for about 30 minutes before slicing.
- I like a softer crust for this recipe, so I use a softer cookie. Use your favorite ginger snaps! I also make sure mine are gluten-free for my son with Celiac Disease — gluten-free ginger snaps are widely available.
- To get the ginger pulp, use a super fine grater, like a microplane grater, to grate the ginger. If you don’t have one, chop it as finely as possible, until it’s juicy.
Passion Fruit Seeds
I’m not typically a fan of edible fruit seeds — however, passion fruit seeds add the perfect bit of texture as they crunch just like a tiny piece of a cookie would – pleasantly. And of course, they certainly add to the interesting factor.
If you prefer a smooth consistency throughout, you can easily strain the passion fruit pulp. You can learn exactly how to do that in How to Juice and Use Passion Fruit.)I hope you enjoy these Passion Fruit-Ginger Cheesecake bars as much as my family did!
Depending on its location, passion fruit are available almost all year, though mainly mid-summer through winter.
Passion Fruit-Ginger Cheesecake bars are sweet, tart, subtly spicy, creamy and oh-so-pretty!
- 1 pound ginger snap cookies (preferably on the soft side - see notes)
- 5 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
- 2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened to room temperature
- 1/2 cup sweetened condensed milk
- 2 tablespoons heavy cream
- 1 tablespoon fresh ginger pulp (see notes)
- 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- 3 tablespoons powdered sugar, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 passion fruits (click here for How to Juice and Use Passion Fruit)
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F, adjust a rack to the center, and line a square (8 x 8 x 2-inch) baking pan with parchment paper. (Use a large piece that will cover the sides and cut slits in each corner so that it will lay flat.)
Add the cookies to a food processor fitted with the blade attachment and blend into fine crumbs. Pour them into a medium-sized mixing bowl and fold in the melted butter. Once the mixture is smooth, add it to the parchment-lined pan and use your hands and/or a flat-bottomed spatula to press it down evenly to form the crust. Place in the preheated 350 degree F oven and bake just until the edges are becoming golden and the center no longer looks wet, about 15 minutes. Remove from the oven and set it aside to cool to room temperature.
In a large bowl, use an electric mixer on a low speed, to mix the cream cheese with the sweetened condensed milk, cream, ginger, vanilla, 2 tablespoons of the powdered sugar, cardamom, cinnamon and salt. Blend until it's smooth. (You can use a spoon instead of an electric mixer, just be sure the result is super smooth!)
Pour the smooth cheese mixture on top of the cooled crust and use a small spatula to spread it out evenly. Cover tightly with plastic wrap and place in the refrigerator until it's set, at least 4 hours.
Cut the passion fruits in half and pour the juice/pulp into a small mixing bowl -- use a spoon to scrape the pulp and seeds from the inside of the skin. (Here's How to Cut and Juice Passion Fruit.) Sift in the remaining tablespoon of powdered sugar and use a whisk to blend it with the pulp. You can evenly pour this over the entire cake in the pan, or on each individual bar when you serve.
To serve, gently lift the cake from the pan with the edges of the parchment paper, and place it onto a cutting board. Slice it into 16 evenly sized squares. (If you haven't already poured the passion fruit over the cake, you can do so now, as you serve.)
I like a softer crust for this recipe, so I use a softer cookie. Use your favorite ginger snaps! I also make sure mine are gluten-free for my son with Celiac Disease -- gluten-free ginger snaps are widely available.
To get the ginger pulp, use a super fine grater, like a microplane grater, to grate the ginger. If you don't have one, chop it as finely as possible, until it's juicy.