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Tag Archives | Graham Cracker Crust

Blueberry Cheesecake

No bake blueberry cheesecake, light filling, graham cracker crust, topped with fresh blueberry sauce.

The Sauce: Blueberry Sauce – Blueberries, sugar and cornstarch are simmered until thickened and glistening, then add lemon zest and several more cups of fresh blueberries into the sauce.

‘Great Sauces Transform Good Food into Gourmet’ 

On the auction block

$12 going once, going twice, sold. The first time I made this Blueberry Cheesecake for our church youth group fund raiser it sold for twelve bucks. Thirty years ago that was a handsome price. This spring I donated the same cheesecake for our annual youth fund raiser. It silent auctioned for $45, that’s a healthy increase. According to $12 in 1983 is worth approximately $28 in today’s dollars.

Besides these good causes, my children frequently requested Blueberry Cheesecake for their birthday rather than a traditional cake. This version is unbaked, chilled and has fresh blueberry sauce. I love to make Blueberry Cheesecake edgeit when blueberries are buy-one-box-get-one-box free since it takes four boxes. One box is cooked with sugar, cornstarch and lemon zest until it is glistening, thickened and fragrant. Off the heat add the other three boxes so they’re fresh but coated in blueberry sauce. It looks so beautiful when it is spread on the top and don’t worry if some sauce drips over the side of this Blueberry Cheesecake.

You might also enjoy Chocolate Raspberry Torte, Four Berry Blend Smoothie, Spinach Strawberry Salad, Strawberry Chiffon Cake, Chocolate Velvet Cupcakes with Fresh Raspberry Buttercream, Jumbleberry Pie and Wheatberry Pancakes.

1 of 3 part series ”Berry Season Desserts”. Part 2 Iced Raspberry Loaf Cake, Part 3 Berries Van Gogh. More on berries and berry season.

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Recipe: Blueberry Cheesecake

Prep Time: 40 Minutes | Inactive Time: 4 Hours | Cook Time: 10 Minutes | Yield: 10” Cheesecake | Level: Expert

Custard with whisk Custard

  • 2 envelopes unflavored gelatin
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 3 egg yolks
  • 1 cup milk

Graham Cracker Crust
Graham Cracker Crust

  • 28 square graham crackers, about 2 cups crumbs
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 10 Tbsp melted butter

Cheesecake Filling
Cheesecake Filling

  • 3 8-oz pkgs cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 3 egg whites
  • 1/4 cup sugar

Blueberry Topping

  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp cornstarch
  • 3 Tbsp water
  • 4 cups blueberries (20 oz), divided
  • 1 tsp lemon zest

Special Equipment – 10-inch springform pan, food processor, hand or stand mixer

1 Combine unflavored gelatin, 3/4 cup sugar and salt in a small saucepan. Stir in the egg yolks. It will be thick. Whisk in the milk. Cook over medium heat until it comes to a full boil, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat. Set aside and cool to room temperature.

Graham Cracker Crust
2 Break graham crackers into a food processor and add 1/4 cup sugar. Process into fine crumbs. Add butter and pulse to combine. Line the bottom of a 10-inch springform pan with parchment. Press the cracker mixture on the bottom and half way up the sides of the pan. Place in the fridge to chill.

Smooth Cheesecake Filling Cheesecake Filling
3 Place cream cheese, sour cream, lemon juice, vanilla and cooled custard in a food processor and process until smooth.

4 Meanwhile beat egg whites to soft peaks with a hand or stand mixer. Continue beating while slowly adding 1/4 cup sugar until stiff peaks form.

5 Place the cream cheese mixture into a large bowl. Stir in 1/3 of the beaten eggs whites. Fold in the remaining egg whites until smooth. Pour into the chilled crust and chill for 2-3 hours until set or refrigerate overnight.

Blueberry Sauce
6 Meanwhile whisk together 3/4 cup Blueberry Sauce Bubblingsugar and cornstarch in a small saucepan. Add the water and 1 cup of blueberries. Place over medium heat and bring to a full boil. Boil 1 minute. Remove from the heat. Add the lemon zest. Let the hot sauce stand at room temperature until warm, about 5-8 minutes. Add the remaining 3 cups of blueberries. Allow to finish cooling.

7 Unlock the pan and release the cheesecake. Place on a large platter. Pour the blueberry sauce evenly over the top. To serve, cut in wedges.

Blueberry Cheesecake TopNotes
Because there is a ridge around the edge of the bottom of a springform pan, the cheesecake crust may break when you try to place it on a patter. Here are 3 ways to serve it without breaking the crust.

-Use a parchment disk in the bottom of the pan so it will slide out easier as directed in step 2.
-Turn the bottom of the springform pan upside down before pressing the crust in place.
-After releasing the sides of the pan, serve the cheesecake with the bottom of the pan left in place.

I like to use a 1/4 cup measuring cup for the sugar in this recipe. The crust calls for 1/4 cup (1 scoop), the custard calls for 3/4 cup (3 scoops), the egg whites call for 1/4 cup (1 scoop), and the blueberry sauce calls for 3/4 cup (3 scoops).

Scalloped CrustWhen pressing the graham cracker crumbs up the sides of the pan, don’t worry if it is uneven so it has a scalloped effect. You can also crush the graham crackers by placing them in a zipper bag and using a rolling pin.

Use 1 lemon for this recipe. Zest the lemon for the blueberry sauce and set aside before juicing for the cheesecake filling.

This cheesecake could also be topped with raspberry, cherry or strawberry sauce.

This recipe also fits in a 9×13 baking dish. To serve, cut in squares and lift out with a spatula.

A lighter cheesecake than traditional baked versions, it’s especially nice served in the summertime. Keep chilled until serving.

This Blueberry Cheesecake is rich and fruity. Gathering friends together over dessert. It can be made a couple days ahead.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange fresh blueberry sauce for canned blueberry pie filling.

Inspiration – Helen Horton
Cook with Sauces
Blueberry Cheesecake
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: July 21, 2013

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Deep Dish Apple Pie

Old-fashioned apple pie with a lightly sweet orange glaze.

The Sauce: Orange Glaze -Brushed over the flaky pie crust as soon as the pie is done, the citrusy glaze with fresh orange zest lends a gourmet touch to an already outrageously perfect apple pie.


Apples and Oranges

I splurged on the McCall’s cookbook years ago while I was a pauper college student. Mom raised me on Better Homes and Gardens so I felt a bit like a trader. But I was now on my own and off at college. This was a way for me to stretch my cooking wings and fly. My college bookstore had their semi-annual 20% sale and every cookbook was on sale. I spent a bit of time thumbing through them, looking for the right one.

I remember exactly why I chose the McCall’s cookbook and it wasn’t because of the vibrant orange jacket. It had full page color plates for the first 8-10 recipes and the food looked memorable. Back in the 70’s cookbooks were still primarily text and so the visual images were unusual. One of photographed recipes was Old-Fashioned Apple Pie.

Ever since then I’ve been making my adaptation of this apple pie recipe for Thanksgiving. Often some of the apples from the bushel bought

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to can homemade applesauce turned into this pie. The cinnamon and nutmeg spice the apples in warm Fall flavors but the crowning glory is the orange glaze on the pastry. It adds a hint of fragrant citrus and lightly sweetens the flaky top crust. When my guests take a bite they say, “Mmmmm, that is really, really good,” but they’re not actually sure why this is the best apple pie they’ve ever tasted. Now you know the secret. This is the apple pie to enjoy this fall while apples are in season.

Part 1 of 3 part “Fabulous Fruit Pies” Series. Part 2 Jumbleberry Pie More fruit pie tips.

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Recipe: Deep Dish Apple Pie

Prep Time: 20 Minutes | Inactive Time: 3 Hours | Cook Time: 55 Minutes | Yield: 8 Servings | Level: Easy

Apple-Slicer/Corer/PeelerApple Pie

  • pastry for 2 crust pie
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp flour
  • dash salt
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 6 cups thinly sliced, pared apples
  • 2 Tbsp butter

Orange Glaze

  • 1/4 cup powdered sugar
  • 2 tsp fresh orange juice
  • 1/2 tsp orange zest

Special Equipment – 9 1/2-inch deep dish pie dish

1 Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Place a baking sheet on the bottom oven rack to preheat.

2 Roll out one pie pastry and place it in a 9 1/2-Apples-with-a-splash-of-fresh-lemon-juiceinch pie dish taking care not to stretch the dough and allowing a little to hang over the edge of the dish.

3 Combine the sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, flour, and salt in a small bowl.

4 In the bottom of a large bowl place the lemon juice. Add the apples and toss gently. Add the sugar mixture and stir to coat the apples.

5 Dump the apple mixture into the pasty-lined pie dish. Cut the butter in small chunks and dot the apple filling.
6 Roll out the other pie pastry and lay over the top of the apples allowing a little to hang over the edge of the dish. Trim the pastry as needed and crimp the edges as desired. Vent the pie crust by cutting several slits.
7 Take the hot baking sheet out of the oven and place the pie in the center. Carefully place back into the oven on the bottom shelf. Bake at 425 degrees for 45-50 minutes. May need to add a foil pie ring the last 15 minutes to prevent over browning the edges of the pastry.

Orange Glaze
8 Meanwhile, combine the powdered sugar, orange juice and zest in a small bowl.

9 When the pie is done, take out of the oven and brush a thin coat of the glaze over the top of the crust. Place on a cooling rack and let set until warm or cooled, 2-4 hours.
Crisp-ApplesUse crisp sweet / tart apples such as gala, jazz, fugi, rome or courtland.

Use an apple peeler/slicer/corer to prep the apples. It can be purchased in kitchen stores or online. Find one with two grooved channel rods, one that makes medium slices (good size for apple pie) and one for thin slices (good size for prepping apples to dry).

Keep the pie pastry chilled until ready to roll out each crust.

To create a golden bottom pie crust, preheat the oven with a baking sheet inside, use a dark colored baking sheet, and bake on the bottom shelf.

Apple pie can be stored on the counter rather than in the fridge. There is enough acid in the fruit to preserve it for the 2-3 days of it’s shelf life, if it lasts that long. This will prevent the flaky crust from becoming gummy in the fridge.

Serve with vanilla ice cream and drizzle with caramel sauce or dulce de leche. Or try whipped or pie cream.

Apple Pie Milkshake – Make a leftover pie wedge into a milkshake by combining about 1 to 1 1/2 cup of vanilla ice cream, 1 slice of pie and 1/4 to 1/3 cup of milk in a blender. Blend until chunky. Makes 2 servings.

Dish Designer

  • Exchange sweet tart for tart Granny Smith apples.

Inspiration – McCall’s
Cook with Sauces
Written by
Photographs by Helen Horton
Updated: October 21, 2012

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Graham Cracker Crust

Graham crackers bring back memories of my early childhood. Sometimes mom would make sandwich cookies with them by spreading homemade frosting between two grahams. Whenever I make a graham cracker crust it reminds me of those sweet treats.

Graham Cracker crusts are easy to make, much easier than pastry dough. Unlike pastry where the excess dough is simply trimmed off, it helps to have recipes proportioned for pie plate sizes. This way you can pat into place the right amount of crumb mixture for the ideal thickness.

Purchase graham cracker crumbs in a box or crush your own. A food processor will pulverize them but so will a rolling pin and zipper bag. Crush them coarsely or very fine. Lots of recipes call for a 6-10 minute visit in a 350-400 degree oven. I prefer my graham cracker crusts chilled rather than baked. Match your pie plate to the recipe sizing and check out some variations in the ‘Dish Designer’.


Graham Cracker Crust

Prep Time: 5 Minutes | Cook Time: 0 Minutes | Yield: 1 Pie Crust | Difficulty: Easy

The Sauce-9 ½ deep dish or 10-inch pie plate
1 ¾ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs, about 13 sheets or 26 squares
3 Tbsp Sugar
6 Tbsp Butter, melted

The Sauce-9-inch pie plate
1 ½ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs, about 11 sheets or 22 squares
3 Tbsp Sugar
5 Tbsp Butter, melted

The Sauce-8-inch pie plate
1 ¼ cups Graham Cracker Crumbs, about 9 sheets or 18 squares
2 Tbsp Sugar
4 Tbsp Butter, melted

Preparation Instructions
1.  Combine the crumbs and sugar. Add the butter and blend.

2.  Press in the bottom and up the sides of a pie plate. Chill for 30-40 minutes.

Dish Designer
• Exchange graham crackers for Ginger Snaps, chocolate cookies, or vanilla wafers.
• Add 1/4 to 1/2 tsp cinnamon.
sauces over under and through

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