fresh lemon, ripe berries. tangy cheesecake & a cookie crust. this lemon-berry cheese pie is the perfect spring-time treat!
have you ever seen the movie Waitress? well we have & we LOVE it! i mean really, a movie all about pie? with so many different flavors? and that really good song? baby don't ya cry, gonna make a pie, gonna make a pie with a heart in the middle... i can't even tell you how many times i sang that song to hels as she was drifting off to sleep as a baby. if you are not familiar with this particular movie - and you should be, so find it on netflix or at the library or wherever and watch it right now! - the main character, jenna, creates different pie flavors in her mind that reflect things that are happening in her life. hilarious & also true; food is so often influenced and affected by our moods and the things happening in our lives.
this pie is a little like that.
this particular pie was inspired by my sister, a lover of all things lemon & berry. she just graduated with her mba - yay hil! congrats!! - and needed a treat for her graduation party. what with it being spring, tasty berries are popping up in all of the local markets, and so a dessert featuring berries was a given. and what goes so well with that? lemon of course! the fresh, tart zing of the juice and zest is a perfect compliment. and, well, who doesn't like cheesecake? even vegans & vegetarians love it - hence the vegan-ized recipes floating around the web. and thus this recipe was born.
slightly sweet, buttery graham cracker crust. tart, creamy cheesecake-style filling. piles of fresh blueberries, raspberries & strawberries. yes please!
so back to waitress... i should probably have called this pie 'graduation lemon-berry cheese pie', because really that's what it is. a fresh, bright treat to celebrate a whole new era for my sister. but with a comforting kick to fall back on.
baby don't ya cry, gonna make a pie, gonna make a pie... with a pile of berries in the middle...
recipe: lemon-berry cheese pie (yields 1 pie)
- 1 container whipped cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 container regular cream cheese, room temperature
- 1/2 c confectioner's sugar (aka powdered sugar)
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1/4 tsp salt
- zest of 1 lemon (2 generous Tbsp)
- juice of 1 lemon (2 - 3 Tbsp)
- 1 c blueberries
- 1 c raspberries
- 1/2 c strawberries, halved
- 6 Tbsp butter, melted
- 2 sleeves graham crackers
- 2 Tbsp honey (can sub maple syrup or agave syrup)
for the graham cracker crust:
- preheat the oven to 350 degrees
- in a food processor or high speed blender, process the graham crackers until fine, and add a pinch of salt
- drizzle in the melted butter & honey, and pulse until combined. the crust is ready when you can pinch a bit and it holds together
- press the crust into a pie plate - on the bottom & up the sides. you want a nice thick crust here! tip: the bottom of a 1/4 c measuring cup is a great tool for pressing crusts.
- bake the crust for 10 - 15 minutes. remove from the oven and let cool.
for the pie:
- beat the cream cheeses together until smooth.
- add the confectioner's sugar & 1/4 tso salt and continue mixing until smooth.
- add the vanilla, lemon zest & lemon juice, and mix until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated
- when the crust is completely cool, pour the filling into the graham cracker crust
- sprinkle the berries all over the crust - the layer of berries should be thick! you can get as fancy or as rustic as you like with the berries.
- cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour
- remove from fridge, slice and enjoy!
h & s