{Recipe} Cream Cheese Pie

 

This week my sister gave me a flat of fresh strawberries (that she had picked in her own garden/farm/orchard).  Those pretty berries were all I needed to start thinking about delicious fruit desserts.  Now normally I’m an all chocolate girl, but in the summer, there is just something so beautiful about desserts that incorporate the bounty of the season.  And here in California we are blessed with an almost unlimited supply of gorgeous fruit.

I realized it had been quite a while since I’d made my husbands favorite dessert, cheesecake (it’s really cream cheese pie, but in our house we call it cheesecake… more on that in a minute).  I thought the strawberries would complement the cheesecake perfectly, so my plan was set.

I used to make this cheesecake for my husband when we were dating (as teenagers), and most years I try to make it for his birthday.  It’s really a pretty simple dessert to make, the step that takes the most time is chilling it for 2-3 hours.

Although in our house this has always been called cheesecake, the correct title is Cream Cheese Pie.  True cheesecake is a dense,  baked dessert usually containing 3 or more packages of cream cheese, along with eggs, sugar and a few other ingredients.  Cheesecake is usually baked in a straight sided springform pan.  In contrast, this recipe (Cream Cheese Pie) produces a very sweet, smooth dessert that is not baked, but is chilled (and must be kept chilled) to be firm enough to cut.

The recipe is from my Grandmother (although I’m not claiming she created it).  My Grandmother was a Home Economics teacher in the 1950’s-60’s and this is one of the recipes from her recipe file.

Graham Cracker Crust

1 1/2 cups (about 20 squares) graham crackers, finely crushed

1/3 cup butter, melted

3 Tablespoons sugar

~Directions~

Heat oven to 350*F

Mix together crumbs, butter and sugar (I usually just do this right in the pie plate).

Once combined, press the mixture firmly against the bottom and side of a 9 x 1 1/4 inches pie plate.

Bake 10 minutes, or until light brown.  Remove from oven and cool.

Cream Cheese Pie

1 (8 oz.) package cream cheese, room temperature

1 (15oz.) can sweetened condensed milk

1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh if possible)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

~Directions~

In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth.  Slowly add the condensed milk, beat until fully incorporated.  Add lemon juice and vanilla.  Mix until smooth.

Pour mixture into a cooled, Graham Cracker Crust.

Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours.

Before serving, top with fresh fruit, fresh strawberry sauce (recipe below), or toppings of your choice.  Also delicious plain.

Fresh Strawberry Sauce

1 basket/pint strawberries

2 Tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons corn starch

3 Tablespoons water

Chop/blend about half of the strawberries (5-7 strawberries) and the water in a food processor or blender.  Pour the blended strawberries (and their juice) into a mesh strainer, sitting over a bowl.  Use a large spoon or spatula to press the mixture through the strainer.

In a small saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch. Slowly add the strained strawberry juice, whisking to combine.  Heat mixture to a boil and boil about 1 minute.  Remove from heat and let cool.

Chop remaining strawberries into pea sized pieces and add to the cooled strawberry/sugar mixture.  Chill until ready to use.

How to Make Cream Cheese Pie

slice of cheesecake topped with strawberries

Cream Cheese Pie

 A very sweet, smooth dessert that is not baked, but is chilled (and must be kept chilled) to be firm enough to cut.
Prep Time 20 mins
Cook Time 12 mins
Chill 3 hrs
Total Time 3 hrs 32 mins
Course Dessert
Cuisine American
Servings 12
Calories 266 kcal

Ingredients
 

Graham Cracker Crust

  • 1 1/2 cups graham crackers about 20 squares, finely crushed
  • 1/3 cup butter melted
  • 3 tablespoons sugar

Cream Cheese Pie

  • 8 oz cream cheese 1 package, room temperature
  • 15 oz sweetened condensed milk 1 can
  • 1/3 cup lemon juice fresh if possible
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Fresh Strawberry Sauce

  • 1 pint strawberries 1 basket
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 2 teaspoons corn starch
  • 3 tablespoons water

Instructions
 

Graham Cracker Crust

  • Heat oven to 350*F
  • Mix together crumbs, butter and sugar (I usually just do this right in the pie plate).
  • Once combined, press the mixture firmly against the bottom and side of a 9 x 1 1/4 inches pie plate.
  • Bake 10 minutes, or until light brown. Remove from oven and cool.

Cream Cheese Pie

  • In a large bowl, beat cream cheese until smooth. Slowly add the condensed milk, beat until fully incorporated. Add lemon juice and vanilla. Mix until smooth.
  • Pour mixture into a cooled, Graham Cracker Crust.
  • Chill in the refrigerator for at least 2-3 hours.
  • Before serving, top with fresh fruit, fresh strawberry sauce (recipe below), or toppings of your choice. Also delicious plain.

Fresh Strawberry Sauce

  • Chop/blend about half of the strawberries (5-7 strawberries) and the water in a food processor or blender.
  • Pour the blended strawberries (and their juice) into a mesh strainer, sitting over a bowl. Use a large spoon or spatula to press the mixture through the strainer.
  • In a small saucepan, mix the sugar and cornstarch. Slowly add the strained strawberry juice, whisking to combine. Heat mixture to a boil and boil about 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
  • Chop remaining strawberries into pea sized pieces and add to the cooled strawberry/sugar mixture. Chill until ready to use.
  • Top a slice of the Cream Cheese Pie with the Fresh Strawberry Sauce.

Nutrition

Calories: 266kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 5gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 34mgSodium: 188mgPotassium: 254mgFiber: 1gSugar: 30gVitamin A: 364IUVitamin C: 27mgCalcium: 142mgIron: 1mg
Keyword cream cheese pie
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

 

29 comments

  1. Hello! I love this recipe, I have made it 4 times.

    Although it’s tasty, every time I’ve made it, it comes out still pretty loose, like almost runny. And I usually leave it to chill overnight.

    Is there a way to make it not as runny?

  2. Awesome pie!!!! I made it directly as suggested (except more crackers because I’m a fatty and like crust), and it came out wonderful!!!!! Thanks for the amazing recipe!                                  

  3. This is the EXACT recipe that MY grandmother used to make! Tonight’s dinner needs 1.5 tablespoons of sweetened, condensed milk, and I was trying to figure out what to do with the rest … I think it’s time my kids tasted Cream Cheese Pie! 🙂

  4. I used to make this all the time and lost the recipe….although I remember having to mix it with an electric mixer for like 20 minutes or something like that. Hope it works just as well with less mixing time. Can it be completely frozen for later use and then thawed?

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