My inspiration for this dessert came from one my mom made growing up that I loved. Her recipe used Danish Dessert (a box gelatin mix that can really only be found in Utah), and it used Dream Whip. I wanted to make the dessert completely from scratch, and what started as a total experiment, turned into a complete success!
I combined an easy homemade raspberry sauce with an adapted version of my Grandma’s Lemon Chiffon Pie filling. I added a creamy whipped cheesecake layer over a simple shortbread crust. The result is out-of-this-world delicious! The BEST little Raspberry Pie Bars ever! I kept the leftovers in the fridge and we enjoyed them for days. This dessert is seriously delicious! It looks beautiful and tastes amazing.
- 2 Cups Flour
- 1 cup butter , cold, diced
- ½ cup brown sugar
- ½ cup pecans
- 1 (8oz) block cream cheese, room temperature
- 1 cup powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup heavy cream
- 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 3 tsp cornstarch
- 2/3 cup cold water
- 3 heaping cups fresh or frozen raspberries
- 3/4 cup water
- dash of salt
- 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp granulated sugar
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch + 1/4 cup water
- 1 large egg , yolks and whites separated
- ½ tsp red gel food coloring
For the shortbread crust: Use a pastry blender or forks to mix all ingredients together for the shortbread crust. Press gently into a 9x13 pan. Bake at 350 degrees F for 15 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool
For whipped cream cheese layer: Use electric mixers to cream together the cream cheese and powdered sugar until smooth. Beat in vanilla. In a separate bowl beat the heavy cream until stiff peaks form. Fold the whipped cream into the cream cheese mixture. Spread filling over the cooled shortbread crust. Refrigerate until the raspberry filling is ready.
For the raspberry pie filling: In a small saucepan, whisk together 2 Tbsp granulated sugar and 3 tsp cornstarch until well blended. Stir in 2/3 cup cold water and 2 cups of raspberries. Cook over medium heat, whisking frequently, until mixture reaches a boil. Gently boil for about 5 minutes on medium-low heat, whisking constantly until sauce has thickened slightly and raspberries are blended in. Remove from heat and force sauce through a fine mesh strainer to remove the seeds. Set aside this seed-less sauce.
Add ¾ cup water, dash of salt, ½ cup sugar, 2 Tbsp butter to the saucepan and bring to a boil. While waiting for mixture to boil, stir together 2 ½ Tablespoons of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of water together in a small bowl. Add to boiling mixture, stirring well to combine, and turn heat to low. The sauce will thicken pretty quickly.
Separate the egg yolks and whites into two separate bowls. Beat the egg yolks with a fork. Add a large spoonful of the mixture from the saucepan, to the egg yolks and stir well. Repeat with 2-3 more spoonful’s, to temper the eggs. Then add the egg mixture to the saucepan. At this time also add the reserved seed-less raspberry sauce back to the saucepan.
In a separate bowl beat the egg whites with electric beaters. Slowly add 2 Tbsp sugar. Beat until stiff peaks form. Fold egg whites into the mixture in the saucepan. (I added 1/2 tsp of red gel food coloring at this point to make it a prettier shade of red).
Stir in the remaining cup of raspberries – I also like to save a few to sprinkle on the top.
Pour raspberry mixture over cream cheese layer—sprinkle any extra raspberries on top. Chill in refrigerator for at least 3-4 hours before serving.
I usually make the crust and cheesecake filling the day before!
If you love pie, you HAVE to try some of my other favorites: