Fresh blueberries and strawberries, with their crisp red and blue colours, paired with the perfect cream cheese whipped cream, makes the most lovely 4th of July Cheesecake in a Jar!
Happy 4th of July my American friends! Although the past few weeks have been a scheduling nightmare for me, I couldn’t let another Independence Day go by without posting a tribute recipe to my many American readers. In my mind, the 4th of July is all about friends, family, and picnics. Or, at least that’s how this Canadian outsider imagines it.
My mind conjurs up images of that party scene in Steel Magnolias. Everyone is dressed in casual attire, yet looking presentable. It’s a bright, sunny, summery day. There’s tables and tables of food. Balloons and streamers and other 4th of July party favours are strung and scattered everywhere. The grass is greener than it’s ever been in the entire existence. I think I’m a big Southerner at heart.
For my fellow Canadians, and those of us who are not American, or who have not, or have not yet studied American history is school, Independence Day, most commonly referred to as the Fourth of July, is a federal holiday in the United States. It is a holiday that marks the adoption of the Declaration of Independence in 1776. It was when the Continental Congress declared that the thirteen American colonies were a new nation, specifically, the United States of America, and were no longer a part of British rule.
Now, I’m no history expert, and I barely remember the ins and outs of history lessons in school, so I thought it might be fun to list a little American trivia in this post. You can share these with your family and friends over dessert on July the 4th – let’s just say you’re sitting outside, it’s a lovely day, you’re sipping a cold drink and you are enjoying this 4th of July Cheesecake in a Jar. Here goes:
- American consume around 155 million hot dogs on the Fourth of July. They also spend 92 million dollars on chips, 167 million on watermelon, and 341 million on beer.
- Three United States presidents died on the Fourth of July: John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, and James Monroe.
- In one year, $600 million is spent on fireworks alone in the U.S.
- Bristol, Rhode Island is home to the world’s oldest Independence Day celebration. It dates back to 1785!
- Macy’s Fourth of July Fireworks Display is the largest in the United States.
- Betsy Ross, according to legend, sewed the first American flag in May or June 1776, as commissioned by the Congressional Committee.
Like the images in my mind of Julia Roberts in Steel Magnolias, Independence Day is commonly associated with fireworks, parades, BBQs, carninals, picnics, concerts, baseball games, family reunions, political ceremonies, and other events that celebrate American history, government, and American traditions.
Obviously, I know that not everyone celebrates the 4th of July in the same way, but no matter how you celebrate it, I hope you eat lots of good food. And, my 4th of July Cheesecake in a Jar is great for a party of one (because there’s more for you!) or a family gathering. As the recipe card below states, this recipe will make 12 individual jars (about 250mL size) or one large 9 x 13 Pyrex dish. Make as many or as few as you need for your own particular celebration by cutting the recipe in half or even doubling it!
Happy Independence Day to all of my American readers! Enjoy, eat lots, and party safely!
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4th of July Cheesecake in a Jar
For the Crumb Layers:
- 3 1/2 cups graham crumbs
- 1/2 cup butter, melted
- 1 teaspoon cinnamon
For the Cream Layers:
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 2 cups heavy whipping cream
- 1 teaspoon vanilla
- 1 cup confectioner’s sugar
For the Fruit Layers:
- 1 cup strawberries, stems removed and roughly chopped
- 1 cup blueberries
- In a mixing bowl, pour the melted butter over the graham crumbs along with the cinnamon. Mix until well combined.
- If making the cheesecakes in individual jars, evenly distribute about 1 inch of the graham crumb mixture among the jars and lightly press the mixture into the jars to form a light crust/base. If using a 9×13 inch pan, transfer all of the graham crumb mixture to the dish and press lightly into the corner and around the pan to create an even light crust/base. Place in refrigerator.
- In a mixing bowl, use a hand held mixer to cream the cream cheese. Set aside.
- In a separate mixing bowl, add the heavy whipping cream and vanilla. Whisk until mixture forms stiff peaks.
- Transfer the whipped cream to the bowl of cream cheese. Mix until well incorporated. Add the confectioner’s sugar and mix into the cream cheese mixture.
- Top each jar with a layer of the cream cheese mixture – about 11/2 inches of the topping. If using a 9×13 inch dish, spread ALL of the cream cheese mixture over the top of the graham crust.
- Next, top with a layer of blueberries. Then, repeat with a layer of graham crumbs and cream cheese topping. End with a layer of the strawberries, more cream cheese topping, and a sprinkling of the graham crumb mixture. I also like to place a few blueberries and a half strawberry right on top as a pretty garnish.If you used a 9 x 13 dish, evenly distribute all of the blueberries and strawberries over the cream cheese layer. Refrigerate for 1 hour.
- Place the jars and/or dish into the refrigerator to cool/set for an hour before serving. Serve one jar per person. If you used a 9 x 13 pan, cut into 12 squares and serve with fresh berries.
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