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Fruit-Topped Mini Cheesecakes

June 19, 2011

Remember those miniature cheesecakes that were popular in the ’80s?  They were baked in muffin tins, with a Nilla wafer as the crust, and canned cherry pie filling as a topping.  I think the recipe probably came on the back of the Philadelphia Cream Cheese box.  I loved those as a kid, and demanded my mom make them for every special occasion.  I still love them, actually, but I’ve modified the recipe to suit my grown-up tastes a little better.

Instead of a plain vanilla wafer, I use a gingersnap for the crust, and I like to add either lemon zest or orange zest to the filling.  I’ve tried using citrus extracts in lieu of vanilla, but found that they overwhelmed the delicate flavor of the cheesecake.  Picking up fruit for the topping from the salad bar at the grocery store saves me having to buy an entire package of multiple types of berries (although a big fruit salad to go along with these little desserts wouldn’t be a bad thing!) I also like to use foil baking cups instead of paper.  They’re easier to peel off the cheesecakes, and they leave pretty browned marks along the outer, top, baked edges.  Don’t use low-fat cream cheese for this recipe, or the cheesecakes won’t set up to the right texture.

Fruit-Topped Mini Cheesecakes

18 gingersnaps (small enough to fit inside baking cups)

2 (8-oz.) packages of cream cheese, at room temperature

3/4 cup sugar

2 eggs, at room temperature

1 tsp vanilla extract

zest of 1 lemon or 1/2 orange

1 Tbsp freshly squeezed lemon or orange juice

fruit for topping

2 Tbsp apply jelly

Preheat the oven to 375 F.  Line 18 muffin tins with foil baking cups.

Place a gingersnap in the bottom of each cup.

In a large bowl, combine the cream cheese, sugar, eggs, vanilla extract, zest, and citrus juice.

Beat with an electric mixer on medium-high for 5 minutes, until light and fluffy.

In order to make sure you have enough batter for all 18 cheesecakes, put a small scoop of batter in all 18 cups, and then go back and top off the cups until they are all evenly filled. Bake at 375 F for 20 minutes, or until very lightly browned at the edges.  Let cool completely at room temperature before topping with fruit.

Decoratively slice fruit and arrange toppings on cooled cheesecakes.  Heat the apple-jelly on HIGH in the microwave for about 30 seconds, or until melted.  Brush onto the fruit and let cool.  Chill in the refrigerator until ready to serve.

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4 Comments
  1. Helen permalink
    June 20, 2011 9:33 pm

    These food delights look awesome. Some things we will have to try. Glad you had an awesome time!!!!
    Crab cakes were just in our conversation of something we would like to try!!!!

    Thanks for this fun, yummy, informational and interesting blog!!!!

    “The Gentleman runners mom”.

  2. June 20, 2011 9:49 pm

    Oh! I love these little guys too! My Mom made them for card parties and meetings of her church group… I always snitched one with a glass of punch! What a blast from the past! Thanks for the food memory!

  3. June 21, 2011 11:43 am

    Aw, I’m glad they bring back some sweet nostalgia for you, too, Susan!

  4. June 21, 2011 11:45 am

    Thanks, Helen! We like knowing you’re keeping up with our adventures here. 🙂

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