Sour cherries have a short season beginning in June and ending in August. The plump ruby red gems are a delicious way to celebrate summer. The pucker-inducing stone fruit are more tart than their more common counterpart, but add the perfect balance to this creamy no-bake cheesecake.

In this recipe, a sweet-tart topping made of sour cherries is layered with a smooth and creamy cheesecake mixture with a hint of almond. To top it off, crunchy graham crumb streusel is sprinkled over top. Close the lids and bring these jar cakes along to your next picnic, and enjoy all the layers of red and white deliciousness with shear Canadian flavour.

Upside-Down Cherry Cheesecake Jars

Prep Time: 50 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour, 30 min
Makes: 6, 8-oz Jar Cakes

Ingredients:

Graham Crumb Streusel:
1/3 cup graham cracker crumb
1/3 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup all purpose flour
1/4 tsp cinnamon
¼ cup butter, at room temperature

Sour Cherry Sauce:
1/3 cup granulated sugar
2 Tbsp. lemon juice
1 Tbsp.cornstarch
2 cups sour cherries
2 tsp lemon zest

Cheesecake Filling:
½ cup sour cream
1 250 g brick cream cheese
3 Tbsp honey
1 tsp almond extract

Upside-Down Cherry Cheesecake Jars

Directions:

Graham Crumb Streusel:
1. Preheat oven to 350°F. Prepare a baking sheet lined with parchment.
2. In a bowl, combine graham cracker crumb, brown sugar, flour and cinnamon. Work the butter into the dry ingredients using your fingers until pea size clumps being to form, about 1 minute.
3. Pour the mixture onto prepared baking sheet and spread into a single layer.
4. Bake until mixture is golden brown and fragrant, about 15 minutes. Once cooled, break any big clumps into crumbs.

Sour Cherry Sauce:
1. Combine 1/3 cup sugar and lemon juice in a small saucepan heated over medium.
2. Add in cherries and cook until tender and sauce has thickened, about 5 minutes. Add in corn starch and cook until dissolved, about 1 minute.
3. Remove from heat and stir in lemon zest. Let cool.

Cheesecake Filling:
1. In the bowl of an electric mixer, or using a hand mixer, beat sour cream with cream cheese, honey and almond extract on high until smooth and fluffy.
2. Cool in fridge for about 1 hour. Transfer mixture into a piping bag.

Assembly:
1. Pipe one layer of cheesecake mixture into the bottom of each jar. Spoon a layer of sour cherry sauce over the cheesecake mixture. Continue this pattern leaving a 1/2 –inch of space at the top of each jar.
2. You can finish with a cheesecake layer or a cherry sauce layer. Sprinkle graham streusel over top layer of each jar cake.

Tip: If you cannot find fresh sour cherries, they can be replaced with frozen.