Ah the dog days of summer. It's still hotter than the proverbial hubs of Hades. Humid too. You've guests coming for dinner which means dessert is a necessity and while you could make a pie, the thought of heating up the kitchen with a hot oven isn't in the cards. Well, have I got a deal for you. Drum roll please!
How about this frozen strawberry cheesecake. Now don't get your shorts in a twist thinking I'm going to keep you busy in the kitchen for an hour or two - this one's so darn easy, you'll wonder why you didn't think of it yourself.
From our friends at Dairy Goodness and the Dairy Farmers of Canada comes this super quick and incredibly tasty version of a cheesecake. Similar to a regular cheesecake with the usual graham wafer crust and cream cheese/ sugar filling on top, that's where the similarity ends. Instead of eggs, sour cream and oven time, this one makes use of a carton of purchased strawberry ice cream, softened then whipped into the cream cheese. Spread on the crust, the pan hits the freezer for a minimum 3 hours before the ooh's and ahh's begin.
Served with a strawberry compote loaded with fresh mint and black pepper - yup you read right, dessert is a sight to behold and a pleasure to eat. Never mind that, just imagine the combinations you can come up with. How about peach ice cream with bourbon and peaches on top; or chunky peanut butter cup ice cream on a chocolate wafer crust with hot fudge sauce on top .... well, aren't the possibilities endless?
Best of all, you could whip one up and hide it in the freezer for the next time unexpected guests come over, then show off and absolutely knock their socks off. I said YOU could. ME? I don't have that much willpower.
Pssst - about the black pepper and strawberries; you wouldn't believe what a couple of passes of coarse ground black pepper does to the lowly strawberry. It really brings out the sweetness and gives it a bit of a kick too and the mint...well, that's a whole other story. Give it a try and you'll see what I mean but if mint's just not your cup of tea, try a little balsamic with the berries and black pepper instead for a whole different taste sensation. I guarantee!
Frozen Strawberry Cheesecake with a Peppery Strawberry Mint Sauce (from JBug’s Kitchen Antics adapted from Dairy Goodness)
1-1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Combine all ingredients together and toss with a fork until well mixed. Press into bottom of an 8 inch spring form pan (or other pan with removable bottom) and freeze for 30 minutes.
8 ounces cream cheese, softened
1/3 cup granulated sugar
1 – 1-/2 quart carton strawberry ice cream (softened)
In bowl of electric mixer, cream together cream cheese and sugar until light and fluffy (about 2 minutes). Gradually add strawberry ice cream and mix well. Spread filling on the prepared crust, cover and return cake to freezer. Freeze for minimum 3 hours.
2 cups fresh strawberries, washed, hulled and quartered
1/4 cup chopped fresh mint
1/4 cup maple syrup (must use real thing…do not substitute)
1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper (to taste)
In a small saucepan combine strawberries, mint, and maple syrup. Cook over low heat, stirring often for 5 minutes. Add black pepper and allow mixture to cool.
To serve, unmold cheesecake onto serving platter. Cut into wedges and serve with strawberry sauce.
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