Cherry Cream Cheese Dessert

For Fathers’ Day I’ll be making one of Tom’s favorite desserts…Cherry Cream Cheese Dessert. But honestly, you can’t go wrong with whatever you decide to top this light, creamy and easy to make dessert. Berries are fabulous, so is lemon…let your taste buds be your guide and use your imagination. Try apricots, peaches, mangos, bananas…even chocolate. I wouldn’t suggest you combine them altogether…but if that’s your thing, well, go for it!

You could top the Dessert with canned cherry pie filling. But of course, the cherry topping made from just-picked-off-the-tree pie cherries tastes best (especially if someone else did the picking and pitting…just a little side note there…unless you don’t mind the fresh cherry juice running down your arms and dripping from your armpits.) Filling made from canned or frozen pie cherries are your next best options. I’ll be defrosting frozen cherries when I make it this month.

The graham cracker crust is the only thing you’ll need to bake. If you want to take the dessert up a notch, you’ll want to make my Butter Crunch Crust…it’s yummier. So I’ll include it here.

You can use a regular pie dish for this recipe. Or you can use a 9×9 pan for serving neat dessert squares. I like to make it in a spring form pan…it’s the **Most Showy**…and hey, if I’m going to make an awesome dessert, it might as well look awesome too! …don’t you think?

In fact, it looks a lot like cheese cake when served this way, but it’s a lot easier to make…and we happen to like the lighter and creamer taste better than cheese cake. I’ll let you be the judge. It’s different enough that die hard cheese cake fans can still like both and not feel like a traitor to traditional cheese cake. And if you’re not a cheese cake fan…well, you’ve got to give this a whirl, it’s delicious. Use an 8 ½ inch spring form pan for the recipe I share here. (Although you have to know I’m going to double the cream cheese part and put it in my 9 ½ inch pan.)

Make a day or two before you serve it and store it in the refrigerator. You may want to add the topping only a few hours before serving…depending on how thick it will be.

People always ask me for this recipe, so I know you’re going to love it.

Butter Crunch Crust

  • 1 sleeve of graham crackers, crushed
  • ½ cup flour (freshly ground whole wheat is really good!)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
  • 1/3  cup melted, butter
  • ½ cup pecans, finely chopped

Blend ingredients together and press in pan with back of fork. Bake at 325 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Let cool.

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 1 package cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup powdered sugar
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream, whipped until stiff

Using a mixer beat the softened cream cheese. Slowly add sugar to the cream cheese and continue beating. Fold the whipped cream into the creamed cheese mixture by hand, mixing it together gently until combined.

Spread over the cooled crust and chill.

Cherry Topping

  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 1 ½  Tbsp cornstarch, heaping
  • not quite ½ cup cherry juice
  • ¼ cup sugar (yes, again)
  • a couple drops of almond flavoring
  • about 1 pint of pie cherries, drained (one can)

Combine ¼ cup sugar and cornstarch in a saucepan. Stir in cherry juice. Cook over medium heat, stirring constantly until thick and bubbly. Remove from heat. Stir in ¼ cup sugar, almond flavoring and cherries. Let cool. Then top the dessert and chill.

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