Sweet and tangy, these cute little mini-cheesecakes are perfect for a summer party. Serve them frozen on a hot day and watch them disappear!
Huckleberries are ripe right now, and I’m in heaven. There’s just nothing to compare to these flavorful berries. There is, however, an almost-as-good option if you don’t have access to huckleberries. Wild Maine blueberries are very similar. I bought frozen wild blueberries at the grocery store and they were delicious and reasonable. With fresh huckleberries going for $50-60 a gallon here, if I couldn’t pick them myself, I’d go for the frozen option!
Loaded with cream cheese, sour cream, and whipped topping, you’d think these little cheesecakes would be crazy-rich, but they truly aren’t. The combination of textures and the addition of lemon to the berry topping helps to confuse you into thinking you can eat twenty of these. I should know.
And speaking of whipped topping, I really don’t like to use it. I much prefer real whipped cream. But I tried this with whipping cream, and the little bites were softer . . . pretty messy if you didn’t eat them the second they came out of the freezer. So I caved. I have one more cream cheese recipe coming up soon (it’s a doozy!) and I promise to use the real stuff in that one.
Have you ever used agar-agar? The berry topping can be thickened using cornstarch or agar-agar. I tried both and liked the agar-agar version slightly better. The topping reminded me a little bit of cranberry sauce (kind of gelatinous) while the cornstarch topping was more jam-like, but both were very tasty. The recipe below will call for cornstarch because it’s what most people have in their cupboard, but if you’d like to use agar-agar powder, simply add the lemon juice and water to the cooked berries and then whisk in 1 1/2 teaspoons of agar-agar powder. Cook for 4-5 minutes. Top the cheesecakes while the mixture is still warm because it will set up quickly once it cools. If it gets too thick at any point, gently reheat it.
|Two-bite Huckleberry Cheesecakes|| |
- 1 cup graham cracker crumbs (about 7 double crackers) finely crushed
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 2 tablespoons melted butter
- BERRY TOPPING:
- ¼ cup water
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 2½ cups fresh huckleberries (or use fresh or frozen wild Maine blueberries)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 1 tablespoon heavy cream
- ⅓ cup white chocolate chips
- 8 ounces cream cheese, softened
- 1½ cups powdered sugar
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 8-oz tub thawed whipped topping, divided
- Heat oven to 325 F. Prepare the mini tart pans by placing a small paper liner in each cavity. (48 liners in all.)
- Combine graham cracker crumbs, sugar, and melted butter in a small bowl. Divide between the 48 liners - about 1 teaspoon in each. Tamp down well with a shot glass or tart tamper. Bake for 9 minutes. Cool completely on a rack.
- In a small cup, whisk together the water, lemon juice, and cornstarch. Set aside.
- In a medium pot, stir together the berries and sugar. Heat on medium-low until mixture comes to a boil. Continue to cook and stir for 3 minutes.
- Using a slotted spoon (letting the liquid drip back into the pan) scoop 2 tablespoons of berries into a small dish and set aside.
- Slowly whisk cornstarch mixture into bubbling berry mixture and continue to cook at a low boil until thick - about 2 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
- In a small pan on low heat (or in the microwave), gently heat 1 tablespoon heavy cream and white chocolate until smooth. Allow the mixture to cool slightly.
- In a large bowl, beat cream cheese well. Add powdered sugar and beat until smooth.
- Add sour cream, melted white chocolate, and 2 tablespoons reserved cooked berries. Mix until combined.
- Fold in 2 cups of whipped topping, reserving the remaining cup for decorating.
- Fill each liner about ¾ full, leaving a little room for the berry topping. You can spoon the filling into the liners or use a pastry bag or heavy plastic bag with the tip cut off to squeeze it in.
- Check the berry topping to make sure it isn't hot. Warm is fine. Spoon over the filling in each liner.
- Freeze until ready to serve. Top with whipped topping and a berry, if desired.
So if you live on the east or west coast, get a can of bear spray and head for the hills to harvest huckleberries or wild blueberries. If you’re stuck elsewhere, look in the freezer section of any large grocery store. Our health food section has a separate freezer section, and they have organic wild Maine blueberries. Score!
Before I post my last (for now) cheesecake recipe, I’ve actually been working on a healthy treat. Yes, yes, you heard that right. Check back in soon . . . or better yet, subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss this rare occurrence!