A simple pick me up

The title says it all: this is a recipe for a cheesecake that can make all things better, especially on those days when nothing else will cut it. First of all, it is special because it’s rectangular. Also, we make it as our special treat (please don’t judge the way we think about desert). Moreover, the entire cake is made from scratch, making it even more special. And lastly, if you let it rest in the fridge overnight, once you dig into each of the layers your taste buds will sing with each bite. The crust is made of sugar cookie mix (try Dorothy’s recipe, from her Crazy For Crust site)  and resembles a New York style one. The filling is a mix of fruit flavored Greek yogurt and low fat cream cheese. The topping is any sour fruit you’d like to bake with: raspberries, strawberries, blackberries, or whatever makes you feel adventurous at the moment. So without further ado, here it goes:

The crust:

  • ¾ cup sugar (brown, regular or cane)
  • ½ tsp. baking soda
  • ½ tsp. cream of tartar
  • 2 cups flour (you can whatever kind you have on hand)
  • 1 egg
  • ½ cup softened margarine or butter (again, it’s up to your liking what fat you use)
  • A heaping teaspoon of vanilla essence

The filling:

  • 1 ½ packages softened low fat (or reduced fat)cream cheese
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 2 cups fruit flavored Greek yogurt (lemon or lime is preferred)
  • 1 egg
  • 3 tbsp. flour

The topping:

  • 2 cups of fresh or frozen sour fruit (the one in the picture was made with raspberries)
  • Half of the crust mixture to crumble on top

 

  1. Preheat the oven on 350°F. Line a 13×9 baking pan with parchment paper.
  2. In one mixing bowl, add all the ingredients for the crust and combine to form a dough. Split the dough in two equal parts, and spread one on the bottom of the pan. Lightly press it on the bottom.
  3. Place in the oven and bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, in another mixing bowl and with a hand mixer set on medium, beat the cream cheese and sugar until fluffy (this takes one minute). Add the egg, beat to mix it in (one more minute), then add the yogurt, and flour and mix well for 3 more minutes.
  5. When the ten minutes are up, take it out of the oven and add the filling over the hot crust. Sprinkle with fruit and crumble the other half of the dough for a second layer of the cake.
  6. Return to the oven and bake the cheesecake for 35-40 minutes (the timing depends on your oven. A suggestion is to aim for the top half, say 37 minutes, take the cake out and check to see if it’s done. If yes, take it out. If not, add the three minutes, turn off the oven and let it sit for another 5 minutes).
  7. Take it out of the oven and cool on rack for one hour, then refrigerate it for another two.

Hopefully, this cake can give you a sense of accomplishment, especially on “those” days. It has definitely helped us. Enjoy, be happy, be beautiful!

 

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