Strawberry CreamCheesecake Tians- Improv Challenge-The Wimpy Vegetarian

One of my favorite desserts is strawberry cheesecake with a graham cracker crust. It’s so simple, and so satisfyingly good. When the weather turns warm, and I want to increase my time spent outdoors, I look for easy dishes that don’t compromise on flavor or presentation.  This dessert fits the bill. I can make it in about 20 minutes, layer it up, and glide into a garden with it and a book to relax over. And I can pretend, if only for a moment, that I don’t have a million things waiting for me to do in the house.

This is my first time to participate in the Improv Cooking Challenge hosted by Kristen at The Frugal Antics of a Harried Homemaker. It’s a monthly party where everyone takes the same two assigned ingredients and lets their imaginations run wild.  It doesn’t matter what other ingredients we use, whether we make something savory or sweet.  Unlike some challenges like this, like blog hops I regularly play with, it’s a one-day challenge, instead of all month long.

 

Strawberry Cream Cheesecake Tians

     by Susan Pridmore


Ingredients

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 cup honey graham cracker crumbs (I crumbled honey graham crackers with a rolling pin.)
  • 4 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • lemon zest from ½ lemon
  • pinch salt

Cream Cheese Filling

  • 6 ounces cream cheese, room temperature
  • 2 ounces ricotta cheese
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cream
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 8 medium fresh strawberries

Whipped Cream Topping

  • ¼ cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions

Mix together all of the ingredients for the Graham Cracker Crust in a small bowl, and set aside.

Mix together all of the ingredients for the Cream Cheese Filling in a small bowl, except for the strawberries, spoon the filling into a small baggie or piping bag and set aside. Scrape the filling to the bottom of the baggie or pipe bag. Any hard straight edge will work, even a ruler.

Hull the strawberries, slice in half lengthwise, and slice each half lengthwise into thin slices. Set aside.

Whip the whipping cream in a small bowl using a hand mixer until the cream starts to considerably thicken. Add the sugar and continue whipping until firm enough to pipe. Place in a piping bag fitted with a piping nozzle.

Now you’re ready to assemble. I used small parfait glasses 3″ in diameter and 4″ tall including the stems. Place 1 very packed tablespoon of graham cracker mix in the base of the glass and pack it down with something flat. I used the bottom of a rose vase. Snip one of the corners of the baggie containing the cream cheese filling, and pipe 2 tablespoons of filling on top of the graham cracker mixture by pushing the filling through the cut opening at the corner. By careful not to make a large cut when you snip off the corner. A small cut works very well. Arrange the strawberry slices on top by fanning them in a circle, and pipe a dab of whipping cream on top.

Enjoy!

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34 Responses to “Strawberry CreamCheesecake Tians: Improv Challenge” Subscribe

  1. Kristen May 17, 2012 at 4:32 pm #

    Those look super good. I love desserts served in fancy glasses like this.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 17, 2012 at 4:40 pm #

      Thanks so much Kristen! And thanks for including me in this month’s fun. I’m looking forward to looking at all the entries!

  2. Suzanne May 17, 2012 at 4:36 pm #

    Beautiful, I also am a big fan of cheesecake, strawberry cheesecake is on the top of the list. Really love the simplicity here, all the flavor without the fuss!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 17, 2012 at 4:41 pm #

      Exactly! Who needs a ton of fuss on a gorgeous day when friends are in the house and at the table? But I still want a great dish, you know? Thanks so much!

  3. Pat May 17, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

    Oh this looks and sounds so yummy!!

  4. LiztheChef May 17, 2012 at 6:08 pm #

    Susan, where on earth do you get the energy for all this? Fabulous recipe/post. OK, can I get into the ImprovCookingChallenge too?

  5. The Wimpy Vegetarian May 17, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Absolutely, Liz! Just go to Kristen’s site using the link in my post. At the very top of her site home page is a link for Improv. Click there and somewhere there is a link where you can send her a message and ask to be added for next month. It’s just for one day of the month, so too late for this one. On the energy, I just think I’m crazy. In the middle of getting our house ready to sell, I just accepted a small catering job. Aaahhh! It will be fun, it always is, but yikes I think I’m just nuts sometimes….:-)

  6. Juls (Pepper and Sherry) May 17, 2012 at 7:26 pm #

    That looks amazing and lovely! I hadn’t heard of the improv challenge before but ti sounds like such a good idea I have to check it out!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 17, 2012 at 8:43 pm #

      Thanks so much Juls, and definitely check it out! It’s not too demanding , and very fun to get creative over a couple of ingredients.

  7. Wendy Read May 17, 2012 at 7:42 pm #

    Just love this! Your photos are great too :) I have so many gorgeous papers in my “stock” that I use to top my jars–you have inspired me! I want to try your recipe, I have such a soft spot for cheesecake.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 17, 2012 at 9:12 pm #

      Thanks so much Wendy. Every time I see your fabulous photo by your name, I just smile. I would love to see what you do with your ideas!

  8. Suzi May 18, 2012 at 6:34 am #

    This sounds delightful and refreshing. Love the photos.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 18, 2012 at 4:47 pm #

      Thanks so much Suzi. I have a LONG ways to go on photographs before I can hope to catch up with you :-)

  9. Melody♪♫ May 18, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    mmmmmmmmm — yummy! I love portable desserts, as we have been eating on the back patio for a month now. Just can’t go wrong with a good cheesecake – no matter how it’s served!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      Thanks Melody! Springtime weather just requires eating outside. It’s just the best thing after being inside with rain or snow falling all winter (although i must admit this winter was a pretty mild one for us).

      • Melody♪♫ May 18, 2012 at 6:45 pm #

        Well — we’re in the Phoenix area, so eating outside is coming to an end. :(
        (except for maybe a sunrise breakfast…)

  10. Teri @ The Feshman Cook May 18, 2012 at 8:58 am #

    So elegant, and delicious looking! I love the fanned strawberries.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 18, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

      Thanks Teri! The strawberries were so easy to fan since the cheesecake filling holds them nicely in place :-) Thanks for stopping by!

  11. Kate May 18, 2012 at 3:13 pm #

    This looks so wonderful and makes me want to dive right in! Great post

  12. Deanna Segrave-Dlay May 18, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    These photos are stunning! Not to mention the recipe sounds pretty darn yummy too. Great to see you on board with Improv Challenge :)

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 18, 2012 at 5:00 pm #

      Hi Deanna! Yes, I saw it on your and Jess’s blogs at some point recently and thought what fun it would be to join in! Thanks for the welcome mat!!

  13. Norma Chang May 18, 2012 at 4:38 pm #

    Very elegant indeed!

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 18, 2012 at 5:01 pm #

      Thanks so much Norma! And so, so easy!! I hope you give them a try. Have a great weekend :-)

  14. bakingaddict May 19, 2012 at 4:16 pm #

    Wow what a beautiful dessert!! I wish I could have one now :) I love that you used ricotta cheese and cream cheese. Bookmarking to try :)

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 20, 2012 at 8:29 pm #

      Thanks so much! I hope you give it a try. I really like using ricotta cheese for so many things like this. You still get the cream cheese flavor, but not all of the heaviness :-)

  15. Lynda May 19, 2012 at 6:28 pm #

    That sounds like a fun challenge! These look perfect for entertaining.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 20, 2012 at 8:30 pm #

      Definitely perfect for entertaining! Each one makes about 4 little bites, which is all I need sometimes. And yes it was a fun challenge. Next month is cherries and almonds. I’ll have to sit it out with my nut allergies, but I’m looking forward to seeing what everyone does anyway!

  16. Ann from Sumptuous Spoonfuls May 22, 2012 at 8:50 am #

    This is so lovely! What a beautiful re-make of the strawberry cheesecake :)

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 22, 2012 at 8:53 am #

      Thanks Ann! I can’t wait to make your pasta dinner tonight with the asparagus white bean pesto!

  17. Hannah May 24, 2012 at 6:40 pm #

    Just gorgeous, Susan! What a delightful spring and summer dessert. I love ricotta in cheesecakes, too.

    • The Wimpy Vegetarian May 28, 2012 at 12:08 pm #

      Thanks Hannah!! Hope you’re having a relaxing and fun Memorial Day weekend!

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