lemon-berry cheese pie

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)

ingredients:

  • 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
  • salt
  • 2 Tbsp honey (can sub maple syrup or agave syrup)

method:

for the graham cracker crust:

  1. preheat the oven to 350 degrees
  2. in a food processor or high speed blender, process the graham crackers until fine, and add a pinch of salt
  3. drizzle in the melted butter & honey, and pulse until combined.  the crust is ready when you can pinch a bit and it holds together
  4. 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.
  5. bake the crust for 10 - 15 minutes.  remove from the oven and let cool.

for the pie:

  1. beat the cream cheeses together until smooth.
  2. add the confectioner's sugar & 1/4 tso salt and continue mixing until smooth.
  3. add the vanilla, lemon zest & lemon juice, and mix until all of the ingredients are fully incorporated
  4. when the crust is completely cool, pour the filling into the graham cracker crust
  5. 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.
  6. cover with plastic wrap and chill in the fridge for at least 1 hour
  7. remove from fridge, slice and enjoy!

xoxo

h & s