A luxurious custard is one of our favorite dessert indulgences…and so is cheesecake, so when we came across a recipe that combined the two, well, this seemed like an opportunity to bring our favorites together into one amazing dish! And to make this a little “healthier” we’ve added a few diced pears, because fruit = healthy, right? (Wink.) The pears are totally optional, but we love the subtle sweetness and texture that they bring to the finished product.
This dessert isn’t too fussy but sure tastes like something fancy. We love the sweet creaminess that the custard brings to the usual cheesecake routine and the crumble topping adds just the right amount of light and sweet crunch. Speaking of crunch, one of the things that we like about this dessert is that it doesn’t have much of a crust. We took a little shortcut here with a refrigerated pie crust, but a homemade version would do well here too.
As much as we love a good crust, sometimes it can be overwhelming, especially in a dessert like this, where we really want the pie filling itself to be the star of the show. A thin crust means each bite is sweet perfection; a cool custardy cheesecake with a sugary topping and there’s no overbearing crust to get in the way.
We like that this can be made ahead of time, so it’s the perfect dessert for a dinner party. It can be pulled out of the refrigerator when dinner is served and it will be ready to slice into once the meal has ended and the coffee is brewed. From a dinner party dessert to a delightful bake sale treat, our crumble-topped custard cheesecake bars are a sweet treat that is sure to be oohed and ahhed over.
Custard Cheesecake Crumble Bars
Serves 8-10; 50 minutes active, 3 hours inactive
- For filling:
- 1 refrigerated pie crust (or homemade)
- 1 cup diced pears, drained
- 8 oz cream cheese
- ¾ cup sugar
- 4 oz canned evaporated milk
- 3 large eggs, divided
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- For crumble:
- 1 cup flour
- 1 cup sugar
- ½ cup unsalted butter, cubed
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a 9x9-inch baking pan with parchment paper.
- Roll out pie dough and trim to fit into bottom of baking pan. Place prepared pie crust into pan and sprinkle with diced pears. Set aside.
- In an large bowl, mix cream cheese, sugar, evaporated milk, 2 eggs and 1 yolk, salt, lemon juice, and vanilla until smooth and creamy. Pour batter over top of crust and pears.
- In a separate bowl, combine flour, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and salt. Using a fork or clean hands, mix ingredients together until crumbly and sand-like. Generously sprinkle crumble mixture over top of pie.
- Bake at 375°F for 25 minutes. Cool on a wire rack then refrigerate for 3 hours to set.
- Remove from baking pan, using parchment paper to lift it from the dish. Cut into squares to serve.
Recipe adapted from Just A Pinch.