Happy Monday everyone!
I hope everyone had a wonderful and relaxing Easter. I know we did! The hubby and I headed out to his sister's house to have dinner with the family. It also happened to be my mother-in-law's birthday, so we had quite the Easter celebration. We had it all. A turkey and a ham. Two pasta salads. A big chocolatey, butterfinger-y birthday cake. Kids hopped up on way too much sugar... You know, the normal Easter fare 😂
This would have been a perfect Easter dessert. I tried my hardest to post it on Friday and Saturday but alas, life had other plans. Friday was filled with loud interruptions that completely squashed my plans, and Saturday, well, the hubby was home and boisterous and had things he wanted to do. Easter may have come and gone but nevertheless, this would make an awesome spring dessert. Just because. Actually, now that I think about it, Mother's Day is coming up. And Father's Day. This would be perfect for either holiday.
It's really easy to prepare too- my favorite part 😉 It could also be versatile. I saw a recipe for Blueberry Cheesecake Dessert on FaceBook (I think we all have!) and I about died. It looked amazing! I'm not a huge fan of blueberry pie filling, so I decided to make swap out the blueberry for another flavor. You could switch the Blackberry Nectarine flavor for another fruit, such as cherry, raspberry, strawberry, lemon, etc. There's really not a fruit that I can think of that wouldn't work in this. Any fruit that works with cheesecake will work with this recipe.
The original recipe calls for Cool Whip. I know a lot of people love Cool Whip and if that's what you prefer to use, go for it. Me? Not so much. I prefer whipped cream. I had no problem subbing real whipped cream for the Cool Whip, although it's worth noting that the whipped cream stays stabilized for about 4 days. If your dessert might hang around your house longer than 4 days, Cool Whip might be the way to go.
I have one other helpful hint/funny story about this dessert. The crust is made up of graham cracker crumbs. Did you know when graham cracker crumbs get old, they break down and get this chemical flavor? I did not know that. For my first run making the dessert, I used crumbs that were probably 2 years old.
It was so bad. There was no saving the dessert, the entire thing went in the trash. I guess we could have scraped the crust off the lush, but honestly, that chemical flavor permeated the whole dish. It was so gross.
Moral of the story? Shell out a few bucks for some graham crackers well within their freshness period 😂
This was my first experience making a lush and I gotta say, I'll be making more. It's kind of like cheesecake in a pan, but better. I love how much fruit topping is crammed in there, and the layer of whipped cream on top is perfection. The cheesecake is not too strong in flavor, so that was another element that greatly pleased me. This would be a perfect dessert to take for family holidays or potlucks. Delicious yet easy to make and transport.
Ok, so before I share the recipe, I just wanted to let you guys know that my posting will be erratic for a couple of weeks. I'm not taking a break, but I've gone back to my fiction story. After taking a break for a couple of weeks of rest and rumination, I've decided to lengthen my story. I know, I know, I was going to start a new one, but for some reason I keep thinking of tidbits to add to my first story. I think the story has good bones, I just need to develop the story more to lengthen it to novel length. I'm honestly considering sending it to publishers when I'm done, but we'll see. Right now I'm just feeling creative so I need to capture that. And in the meantime, I'll post what recipes I can.
There's just not enough hours in the day, am I right? 😜
Have a great week everyone!
Recipe adapted from: The Gunnysack
1 2/3 cup graham cracker crumbs
1/2 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsalted butter, melted
2 (8 oz) packages of cream cheese, room temp
4 eggs, beaten
1 cup granulated sugar
1 tsp vanilla
2 cups heavy cream
1/4 cup powdered sugar
2 tsp vanilla
1. Preheat oven to 375º. Coat a 9x13 pan with cooking spray.
2. In a large mixing bowl, combine graham cracker crumbs and sugar. Add melted butter and stir to combine. Press crumb mixture into prepared pan evenly.
3. In a stand mixer, cream the cream cheese until soft and fluffy. Mix in the eggs, sugar, and vanilla. Pour cream cheese mixture over crust. Bake in preheated oven for 20 minutes, or until top is dry. Remove to a cooling rack and allow to cool completely before proceeding.
4. Spread Blackberry-Nectarine Preserves over the cheesecake topping.
5. Prepare the whip cream- in a stand mixer, combine heavy cream, powdered sugar, and vanilla. Beat until fluffy. Spread the whip cream over the preserves. Cool dessert in the fridge for at least 4 hours before serving.
Looking for other Spring-y desserts? Try these! (I don't know why, but I associate Spring desserts with fruit. That's just me 😉)