Monday, December 30, 2013

Najo's Cheesecake


This Cherry Cheesecake recipe has been in my family for some years.  It used to be served in a cute little restaurant in the area and circulated around home cooks since I was young. My son John likes this dessert a lot and since it looks so Christmassy with the bright red cherries, I decided it would be a perfect dessert for Christmas Day.  It is an easy dessert that can be made ahead and kept in the fridge it is a perfect choice for the busy holiday! But it is not just for Christmas... Valentines Day is just around the corner and this would be great to make for your sweetheart!

Najo's Cheesecake
Crust
2 cups flour
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 cup chopped nuts
1 cup butter softened

Mix all ingredients for the crust and pat into a 9 x 13 inch pan.  Bake for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  Crumble crust while still warm and press back into pan.

Filling
1 pkg. 8 oz. cream cheese
1 cup confectioners sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 small container cool whip thawed

Topping
2 cans cherry pie filling or homemade strawberry topping

Mix cream cheese, sugar and vanilla together.  Fold in cool whip.  Pour on top of cooled crust.  Top with cherry pie filling and chill for 12 hours.

If you want to make fruit topping instead of using canned pie filling you can use 1 16 oz. package of frozen strawberries thaw drain and reserve juice. Thicken juice with 2 to 3 TBS. cornstarch and sugar to taste.  Cool and fold in strawberries.  Spread on filling in place of canned pie filling!

Cooks Notes - I think you could substitute any canned fruit pie filling for the cherry and I think it would be delicious... maybe we will try blueberry sometime!


Mix the ingredients for crust in medium size bowl


Place in a 9" x 13" baking dish


Press crust in pan, I use a baggie over my hand


Bake crust in 400 degree oven for 15 minutes


Mix cream cheese and powdered sugar, an vanilla until smooth


Gently fold in cool whip


I used 2 cans of cherry pie filling but you could use any flavor, 
or make your own with fruit


Break up warm crust and repress in bottom of pan


After crust is cooled completely, spread cream cheese mixture and top with pie filling or fruit of your choice!

This is a pretty quick and easy dessert and would be great to take to a pot-luck dinner.

Sandy