These pomegranate cheesecake bars are so good. Okay it’s really damn good and won me a blue ribbon last year in a baking competition. I discovered the original recipe from Better Homes and Gardens. They used raspberries in it but since then I’ve also made it with blueberries and blackberries…you can check out that post here. The basic recipe is like a blank cheesecake canvas just waiting for something to be swirled through it. You could add melted chocolate, caramel, crushed cookies or fruit purees – they’re all fair game. I’d do a fruit puree before solid pieces of fruit, though – you can trap more flavor in a puree than in a piece of chopped fruit. I’m thinking some kind of roasted strawberry basil combination next time. This all sits on top of a crunchy brown sugar shortbread base. Seriously, this is easy to make and so tasty!
So yeah the bar is good, I already mentioned that, but the syrup…we need to have a chat about the syrup. It started out with a bunch of pomegranate seeds, they partied with some red wine, balsamic glaze and brown sugar and 55 minutes later I was gifted with a thick, rich extract. It’s sweet but not crazy sugar sweet and you can easily taste the balsamic and wine (duly noted by my seven year old). Don’t get rid of the seeds when the liquid has been reduced, either. It’s a nice surprise after working through the creamy cheesecake to get those little crunchy nuggets. Pomegranates seeds aren’t the most easy things to capture, so let’s give a big shout out to whoever had the idea of selling them already seeded – genius, I love you! The reduction worked perfectly in the goat cheese bar, but would also be outrageous on a roasted pork loin or on top of a turkey burger.
If you have a saint’s patience and can let the bar rest overnight in the fridge, do it. It’ll cut so much better the next day and the flavors will be all zen-like. Dust with some powdered sugar…the end.
Recipe for Pomegranate Goat Cheese Bars with Red Wine Balsamic Syrup: Adapted from Better Homes and Gardens.
Can be eaten after it cools but is best kept in the fridge overnight and served the next day. Dust well with powdered sugar just before serving.