During my quest for finding cooking vessels that fit inside my crock pot I have to tell y’all, the 8 ounce canning jars are proving to be a life saver. Now I want to make sure y’all understand that anything I am cooking in these jars are not intended for preserving the foods. I’m just using them to cook in. I must admit they’re making the perfect single serving sizes too.
Now on to the cheesecake……
I have to start by admitting that I’ve never cooked a homemade cheesecake before in my life. Before this if I wanted a “homemade” cheesecake I bought the boxed “No Bake” cheesecake that had the crust mix, filling mix and topping. I guess I had always been intimidated by every cheesecake recipe I’d ever read due to the springform pan, wrapping with foil, water bath, and ALL the instructions that came with it. Now that I’ve made these crock pot cheesecakes in jars, I’m rethinking a lot of recipes I’ve shied away from.
These turned out SO good, I have neighbors, family and complete strangers asking me when I’m going to make them again (which is what I get for sharing… and I don’t mind!). Just so y’all know, this recipe is a very dense and rich cheesecake. If you’re looking to get a light and fluffy cheesecake you’re not going to find it here. I personally like the denser, creamier cheesecakes. So this recipe worked perfect for me.
- 1 cup of graham cracker crumbs
- 1/3 cup of sugar
- 4 Tablespoons of melted butter
For the filling:
- (2) 8 ounce packages of cream cheese, at room temperature
- (1) 14 ounce can of sweetened condensed milk
- (2) eggs, at room temperature
- 1 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
- Zest of 1 lemon
In a small mixing bowl add the graham cracker crumbs, sugar and melted butter. Stir to incorporate. Evenly distribute the mixture into the 6 canning jars. Using the back of a teaspoon press the mixture firmly onto the sides of the jar. You want to make sure the bottom is covered and packed too.
At this time heat 2 – 4 cups of water in your microwave. Also, go ahead and turn on your crock pot (I used my 6 quart oval) to high. This is going to preheat it while you’re making the filling.
In a large bowl add the cream cheese and using mixer, mix until fluffy. Slowly add in the can of sweetened condensed milk. Once that’s incorporated add one egg at a time. Once the eggs are mixed in thoroughly add the vanilla extract and lemon zest. Mix until well incorporated.
This is a VERY important step in the process. Fill the jars with EQUAL amounts of cheesecake filling. This is so important because you want all the cheesecakes to cook evenly. If you fill one a little more than the others, use a teaspoon to dip out of one jar and add to another until they are filled as equal as possible. Carefully pour the hot water into the preheated crock pot. Place the jars in the crock pot making sure that none are touching the edges of the crockery or each other. You’re looking for the water to come up 1/2 – 3/4 of the way up on the jars.
Cover crock pot with lid and cook on high for 1 – 2 hours. Mine were done at exactly 1 hour and 10 minutes. You’re gong to look for the filling to firm up and not be jiggly in the center. These cooked so quickly because they were cooking in individual, smaller containers.
At this point take the lid off (pick straight up, don’t tilt it sideways… you don’t want any condensation from lid dropping onto the top of the cheesecakes) and turn the crock pot off. You don’t want to try to remove the jars until they cool down some (No one wants to get burned and blistered…. not even for cheesecake!).
Once the jars have cooled enough to remove, place them on a dish towel to continue cooling. As they cool you will see the filling pull away from the sides of the jars. When they completely cool down (and ONLY when completely cooled) place the lid and rims on the jars and place in the fridge for at least 4 hours. This step gives the flavors a chance to come through…. don’t skip it, trust me! Oh yeah, if you happen to have any leftover, make sure you keep those refrigerated until you’re ready to eat them.
Serve as is, with berries or even drizzled with caramel.
Just like the brownies in a jar, these would be perfect for packing in a cooler and taking on a picnic or packing in lunches.
This was a definite crock pot success! I’m going to be making this often. Watch for many variation of this to come! ~grins~
Crock Pot Cheesecake In A Jar
<p>These are the perfect individual servings for dessert. They can easily be packed for picnics and lunches too!</p>