Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Mini Cheesecakes

Who doesn't love cheesecake?  It is a luscious blend of rich creaminess, and it can be very simple to make.  I absolutely adore this recipe for mini fruit cheesecakes because it is delicious and I don't have to mess with a spring-form pan or risk getting cracks in the center of my masterpiece!  I have made this recipe using a homemade strawberry topping and using canned raspberry pie filling.  Both turned out great, so feel free to use your favorite fruits to dress up this cheesecake; and don't feel guilty about using a store bought filling if you're in a time crunch!

For the strawberry topping:
1 lb. fresh strawberries, halved
1/2 cup plus 2 tbsp. sugar
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice

For the cheesecake:
20 oz. cream cheese, at room temperature 
3/4 c. sugar
1/2 tsp. vanilla extract
1/4 c. sour cream
2 large eggs, at room temperature
3 tbsp. all purpose flour

To make the topping:
In a saucepan, combine 1/2 pound of the strawberries with the sugar.  Use a fork to gently mash the strawberries.  Cook over medium-high heat until the strawberries are softened, about 3 minutes.  Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1/2 pound strawberries and lemon juice.  Transfer to a small bowl and let cool completely. 

To make the cheesecake:
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Line a 24-cup miniature muffin pan with miniature paper liners.  

Using an electric mixer on medium-high speed, beat the cream cheese until fluffy, about 3 minutes.  With the mixer on low speed, gradually add the sugar and beat until smooth; scrap down the sides of the bowl as needed.  Add the vanilla and sour cream and beat until combined.  Add the eggs, one at a time, eating well after each; add the flour and beat until combined.

Divide the cream cheese filling evenly among the prepared muffin cups, filling each about 3/4 full.  Bake until the cheesecakes are just set in the center, about 15-18 minutes.  Let the cheesecakes cool in the pan on a wire rack for 5 minutes before transferring them to the wire rack to cool completely, about 45 minutes.

Refrigerate the cheesecakes in an airtight container overnight.  Spoon 1 tbsp. of your topping of choice onto each chilled cheesecake right before serving.

[Recipe and photo adapted from Cupcakes by Shelly Kaldunski]