Pear Custard Bars

My coworker made this for us a few months ago and I loved it so much I just had to have the recipe. The taste and texture is pretty similar to a cheesecake where it’s filling is cream cheese and there is a crust. However, the crust is done with walnuts instead of graham crackers (unless you prefer graham crackers, of course).

This is my first time trying this out and it didn’t take as long to put together as I thought. I’m quite pleased with the results. I used a glass casserole dish and not a metal cake pan because my coworker says after she experimented the crust came out nicer this way. Here it is before baking.

If you’re into cheesecake, give this a try, you don’t need a spring-form pan and it doesn’t take long. Best to leave cheese and butter out overnight to soften because mid-way through making one batch, I decided to make two, and since the cream cheese wasn’t soft enough it turned out kind of lumpy. Here’s the recipe if you want to give it a try!

Ingredients
Crust:
1/2 cup butter or margarine, softened
1/3 cup sugar
3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon vanilla extract
2/3 cup chopped walnuts, macadamia nuts or if you want graham crackers

Filling/Topping:
1 package (8 oz. / 250 mL) cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 can (15 1/4 oz. / 500 mL) pear halves, drained

Sprinkle on top:
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

Directions – Crust
1) Preheat oven to 350F
2) In a mixing bowl, cream butter and sugar together
3) Beat in the flour and vanilla until combined. Stir in the nuts.
4) Press into a greased 8″x8″ baking pan (I used a glass one that was slightly longer)
5) Bake for approx. 20 minutes or until lightly browned. (Don’t bake for too long because it has to go back into the oven again with the filling
6) Cool on a wire rack and increase heat to 375F

Directions – Filling 
1) While crust is baking, slice pears into 1/8″ slices and set aside
2) In a mixing bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth
3) Add sugar, egg and vanilla; mix until combined
4) Pour over crust, arrange pears in a single layer over the filling
5) Combine sugar and cinnamon and sprinkle it over the pears
6) Bake for 28-30 minutes (the centre will be soft set and will become firmer upon cooling)
7) Set aside and cool for at least 45 minutes
8 ) Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours before serving (overnight is best)

Store in the fridge. Yields approx. 16 bars

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