I have a theme going on with this post and the previous one – easy cooking and easy desserts.
Today’s dessert would be great any time – for a pot luck, special guests, a special treat for your family, holiday meals and on a hot summer day, a wonderful cool finisher for your meal. I recently served it as part of my Christmas Eve menu and it was quite popular.
I think we’re all familiar with the ubiquitous cherry cheesecake. When I was a young lass the standard recipe seemed to involve a can of sweetened condensed milk and “real” artificial lemon juice plus cherry pie filling.
Now, I haven’t made it a secret I’m not a big fan of lemon. I will use it in certain recipes when nothing else will work, but limes are my citrus of choice – well, limes and oranges.
So, many, many moons ago I came upon a recipe similar to the one that is my go to recipe for Cherry Cheesecake. I made a few differences – mainly I use lite ingredients to lower calories and fat content.
The changes are: low-fat cream cheese, lite Cool Whip, reduced sugar cherry pie filling and 1/2 cup of sugar instead of a can of sweetened condensed milk. I also sometime throw in just a inch of kosher salt with the sugar to keep the filling from being “flat” as they use to say. You can make this pie with any combination of the above or make it with all of the full versions of the ingredients – that is to say, using none of the reduced products, but using the regular version. I’ve actually used reduced products in the pie, but used the original cherry pie filling on the top.
However you make it, I would bet you it wouldn’t last long once you make it and you’d get requests for repeats.
It’s Not Your Mom’s Cherry Cheesecake
1 8 ounce package reduced fat cream cheese, softened
1 small carton Lite Cool Whip
1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon pure vanilla flavoring
1 can cherry pie filling (may also used reduced sugar pie filling)
pinch of kosher salt, optional
1 graham cracker crust (I use the Keebler’s extra large crust that is 2 extra servings larger than the other pie crust they make.)
1. With a mixer , cream the cream cheese until light and fluffy.
2. Gradually add sugar a little at a time and beat well with the mixer after each addition. (If using the pinch of salt, mix it into the sugar before adding it to the cream cheese.)
3. Once the sugar is added, mix in vanilla flavoring.
4. Stir in Lite Cool Whip and once all ingredients are combined, pour into graham cracker crust.
5. Chill in refrigerator until set. (Be chilling your can of cherry pie filling in the fridge, too.)
6. Just before serving, open the can of cherry pie filling and spread evenly onto the top of the pie. Refrigerate any leftovers.
© 2014 Beverly Hicks Burch All Rights Reserved.