I'm a genius...or so my two youngest kids, H-Bob and Goat Princess, told me last night. We don't usually serve dessert as such at dinner, but I will at times put together something for an evening snack. With two teenagers in the home as well, we need to have a constant supply of food. I'm not fond of packaged and prepared foods, so that leaves me with the task of putting together something on my own...which I do honestly love to do given time and the right frame of mind.
Back to the genius part. We pick and freeze a lot of berries over the summer, so I tend to incorporate them into as much as possible...need to push those fruits somehow. This recipe was a conglomeration from a couple different things I had scribble down previously. I must say...it was steller and quick and simple and fairly healthy as well. Try it out.
Mock Cheesecake Parfaits
8 ounces cream cheese - I used a low-fat variety
1/2 cup sour cream - once again, we use low-fat
1/2 cup powdered suguar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 to 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest (optional)
3/4 cup finely crushed graham crackers
3 cups frozen berries
Using a mixer, thoroughly combine the cream cheese and sour cream until it is pretty light and fluffy. Add powdered sugar, vanilla, and lemon zest. Incorporate with mixer until smooth.
To get genius points from your family, pull out six parfait glasses or clear drinkware. Otherwise, any individual serving bowls/cups will work fine.
Start creating layers by putting in fruit, spoonful of cheesecake mixture, then topping with a tablespoon of the crumbs. Repeat.
If there a few berries left over, sprinkle them over the top.
That's it. Let them set out for 30 minutes or so for the berries to soften and then serve.
Note - I love flexible recipes. If you don't have graham crackers on hand, try vanilla wafers or even crumbled sugar cookies.
No lemon zest, you could try orange or lime or even just leave it out. I zest any lemon that comes into the house just before using the juice and pop the zest into the freezer in a baggies just for occasions just as this.
And lastly, use whatever berries you have on hand. We happened to use strawberries for that authentic cheesecake experience. Come summertime, we'll probably use fresh ones as well.
Thursday, February 19, 2009